are sometimes smooth and silky, and other times tired and tight.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Race Report (don't think, ride)

After spending the previous 90 minutes trying to break free from the field, I give up trying with two laps to go. I find myself a good wheel and sit on. To my knowledge he’s a better sprinter than me, or at the very least he’s as good a sprinter as me. Good enough, not great, but someone I can beat. I think to myself - If things go to plan, I’ll have the perfect leadout.

Through the confusion ahead, I see a teammate just up the road. He’ll be caught, that much is sure. The question is when. The field strings out. It’s not a painful pace, just enough to keep any attacks at bay.

I see my teammate digging deep, trying to get aero. Not easy considering that he’s got to be a foot taller than me. He’s digging. We’re riding. I look behind, wondering where a rider in Green and Black is. I haven’t seen him for the entire race, but that seems to be his style, and judging by his results, it works.

We hit a long stretch of smooth pavement, and the rider on front slowly drags my teammate back. My wheel looks over his shoulder. I smile. My teammate digs, but to no avail. We catch him with a little under a kilometer and a half to go. I shout for him to jump on, but it’s too late.

There’s a small acceleration. I look behind, and see that we have a small gap. Nothing significant, but something. My wheel looks over his shoulder. Again. I smile. Again.

Someone jumps. My wheel? I think so. I can’t remember. Our gap widens, but it’s fools gold, so I remain firmly planted on my wheel. My wheel says something to me. I smile. The pace drops, and a mass of riders pass, I jump to latch on, but it’s over. I think.

Too many riders are in front of me. I won’t even make the top 10. That’s bike racing, better luck next time, next week will be different. As I crest the top of the short sharp ‘hill’ of the course, I see a flash of green and black go past. I dig. I dig deep. He’s gone. But I have momentum. I may as well use it. I shift into my biggest gear.

Meters ahead the field has slowed down. They’re getting cute, pausing before the sprint. Meanwhile Green and Black flies past them. I catch and ride past the main body of the field, on their right. There’s a rider, slightly further to the right, blocking my line.

For once I don’t think, I just ride. I squeeze through the gap, and jump with everything I have. Only 350 meters to go.

I can hear the jeers and yells at me as I focus on the green and black jersey just ahead. He’s getting closer. 300 meters to go.

My legs are burning, I want to sit in the saddle, but I force myself to stay up. 250 meters to go.

I look at my computer, and am surprised that I’m not losing momentum. He’s getting closer. I try to squeeze out whatever power I still have. 200 meters to go.

He’s getting closer. I dig deeper than I have in a sprint, for a long time. 150 meters to go.

He’s getting closer. I’m so focused on Green and Black, that I completely miss the fact that there’s another rider ahead of the both of us. 100 meters to go.

I keep my speed. So does Green and Black. Second place will be his. 50 meters to go.

I smile, and think to myself - wrong wheel, that’s bike racing, better luck next time, next week - and cross the line.


Psimet said...

Nicely done. *scrawling notes*

CyLowe said...

Were you in the money? Did you at least win some gels or a subscription to Bicycling Magazine?

Shaver said...

€5, which was promptly confiscated by the 'penningmeester' of for War Child.