Sunday, July 17, 2011

Papillion Criterium

Photo: Dan Farnham
Hmmm...what can be said about the Omaha Cycling Weekend. Well, for me, it was the Omaha Cycling Day. I skipped out on the morning TT and saved myself for riding double duty in the Masters 40+ and Cat 1/2 races.

The Masters race went about as expected. Jay attacked on lap 2. Shim attacked on lap 3. Then I and Steve Jarrett attacked on Lap 4 and that was pretty much it. The next 35 minutes were spent in TTT mode as we successfully made it the most boring race of the day. Sorry folks. Shim took the win in his quest for rider of the year.

The next 5 hours were spent trying to re-hydrate myself enough to effectively race the 1/2's. After about 3 hours of non-stop drinking and finally had to start making frequent trips to relieve myself. So that was a good sign.

As the eight o'clock start time got closer we were greeted with a nice south breeze and partly cloudy skis which gave us a bit of relief from the piercing heat. Or so I thought. I struggled again to slide on the lycra and headed out for warm-up number two.

I haven't exactly been having the best luck with wheels. After my Dura-Ace tubeless rims were destroyed a couple weeks back I've been riding on my spare set of Ultegras until the new hoops arrive. While warming up I broke a third spoke. These were the wheels that my deraileur tried to kill two years ago at Jingle Cross. Luckily, Jay had a spare D/A I could use for the race. problem solved.

As the whistle blew I was surprised to find the legs didn't feel all that bad. Sooner than later a group of 5 got of the front and we were left with the attack and recover mode that so many chase groups fall into. As my head began to boil from the external heat I finally gave in. The desire to continue had left me. Or so I thought. Of course after sitting up, and a couple laps of ice baths from the sidelines, I got my second wind. Back in the big ring, back to chasing. As the lead group came around to lap me, I jumped on the tailend hoping I could at least still score the final pay spot. Not to be as I thought the payout went 12 deep when it actaully only went 10. Anyway, I managed to sit on the breakaway group until 2 laps to go when I decided I should just get the hell out of the way and out of the finish line pictures.

I was pretty bummed afterward for having given up when all I really needed was better temperature regulation. Felt like I'd let the team down as I'm sure Lucas and Shim could have used my help in the second group. But...race and learn.

Ditched out on the road race Sunday. Didn't really feel like doing laundry Saturday night and repairing my busted wheel. Plus, I was fighting a headache, no doubt caused by the excessive amount of dehydration we all endured.

All in all it was one hell of a training day. Mark Stursma and the entire crew did an amazing job with the race. The intensity of the Mercy Racing boys was greatly appreciated. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Really, I did. Even the part when I thought my brain was going to melt.

Photo: Jill Tillinghast

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