Today was interesting to say the least. I woke myself up at 6:20ish, a little late but eh, I can’t complain. When I arrived at Jeff Wat’s place, around 7:00am, after my wonderful mother drove me to meet Jeff, Joe and Tim (who later called sick saying he would not race) we popped the bikes on the car and loaded up. When on the express way there was no traffic, Sunday morning 10 minutes to O’Hare…too bad the race was in Madison.
As we flew up to WI we took a stop at a gas station and later at Subway for an early morning sandwich. When Joe discovered my I-Pod he wanted to know what the “younglings” listened to these days, I showed him, he did not like it oh well, can’t please everyone. We got to the race site with 2:15 until race time. That is a long time to be sitting around. We got word that the races were running about 40 minutes behind, so now we had about 3 hours.
As we pinned our numbers we saw more and more xXxer’s. We had a good showing of one in the women’s 4’s, six in the men’s 4’s, and one in the men’s 5’s. Once our bikes were set up on the trainers for warm-up and we were ready, but with an hour and a half looming ahead of us we sat in the car. I took a 20 minute power nap which made me drowsy until post warm up. We hopped on the bikes with about 45 minutes until race time. After yesterdays warm-up a couple guys wanted to get in more time on the bike and so they did. We got off the bikes and had some Cliff Shots, filled our bottles with Cliff shot electrolyte mix, and put our CyleOps trainers back in the car. As we took our free lap I realized this is only the second race that my white Fuji road bike has been in. So we took the free lap, course was pretty straight forward, wind, one little hill, up hill finishing straight, and did I mention the wind?
As the team pulled up to the line in our new Pactimo kits, I said to myself “we look good”. Which we did. The race started with my heart beating fast. I was nervous to say the least. It was not a fast start but I knew who to mark. As the race progressed people began to send attacks off the front, but they did it where it was easy for everyone, tail wind and downhill. Nothing got away and on the final lap, after much scoping through out the race, I took the inside of the final turn 4th rider. I caught one rider and sprinted as hard as I could. I saw the thick white line and threw my bike. I looked over and Jeff W. was right next to me. I was excited because I knew that xXx AthletiCo got 3rd and 4th no matter what.
We rolled a lap, unsure of our finish. As I rolled into roll-out I was still thinking of the finishing throw, hoping it was going to be enough. After a post race chit-chat and a vomiting story from Chris M. (he was not feeling well and had to pull out unfortunately, because he was looking very strong). Once we rolled back to the car we set up shop in the shade to cool down. Jeff H. came up to me and told me I got third, I was not sure to believe him because I did not want to hear that I got 4th later so I waited for another source. That came when Brian told me I got it. I was excited because I need the points to up-grade to 3’s so I can go to 15-16 Men’s road nationals. Jeff W. went to go see the finishing photo, which the busy USCF officials were so kind to show him (and me yesterday). Jeff said that I got third by half a wheel and all in the bike throw. As Randy says, ALWAYS THROW YOUR BIKE. The race was great, the team was great, and the weather was fabulous even with the wind. xXx got 3rd 4th 14th and solid finishes beyond that. Thanks to Joe for driving, and to the team for working well.