Any time you leave for a 4:00PM race at 8:30AM, you know it's gonna make for a long day. Bill, Sue and I charged out early in the morning for the long drive to St. Louis for what will be a long and awesome weekend of racing.
We pull up to Lafayette Square in St. Louis to deliver Sue to her first race and I decide on a whim, WTF- I'm gonna double up. Who cares that I've been in the car for the last 5.5 hours, haven't ridden my bike in a week and only just upgraded to a Cat 4 two weeks before. It's end of season and I'm gonna go out in a blaze of glory!
Lining up, I'm the only xXx'er in the men's race and Bill's documenting from the sideline while Sue and Mia are queueing up in the women's 3/4 behind us.
It's the best produced race I've ever been in, the field is full and I'm nervous as all get-out! The whistle blows and we're off! Into the first turn I've... I've found myself in the front. Crap! What do I do from the front? PEDAL! There's someone right on my tail and after the first lap, I hear the announcer make what will be the first of many calls over the weekend, "xXx Racing from Chicago is out on front pushing up the pace." I could hear them trying to look up my name. :)
Throughout the race, I'm just feeling it... I'm trading out first, second, third wheel, hearing my name for the first time ever as I pass a podium. Fourth lap I see Bill on the side and he raises his arms in a "what are you doing?" motion and I shout out "I don't know!" as I roll by! My friend Allison is yelling at me in turn one to get off the front but screw 'em... I'm having a blast and can't believe I'm holding on, let alone leading the pack for what wound up being half the damn race. Only a crap sprint into the last corner cost me the win but I held on for third. 5.5 hours in the car and I put in my best race ever? Damn!
Unfortunately, after turning in the best race of my life, I immediately followed it with my worst. 60th! Bad last lap, poor positioning, pick your excuse. I was disappointed but didn't care. I took home a medal from Lafayette Park!