I knew I had my work cut out for me as Kevin McConnell and possibly Brian Eppen would be in attendance. I knew virtually nothing about Kevin, only that he was capable of competing with KCCX fast boys Kevin Fish and Brad Cole.
We had a late start to the day as we all arrived at the Trek Store at 4pm to load up the Sprinter Van for our quick trip to Des Moines. It was strange leaving so late but with the 3's race starting at 7:30 and our 1/2/3's race not starting until 10pm we had plenty of time.
Shim was first off having driven up earlier to make the Masters 5pm start time. We missed his race but he took the W.
Next was Jeremy and Larry in the 3's. They both had good battles throughout the entire race and finished up 10th and 9th. Leah followed in the women's taking a 5th place finish.
By this time it was getting late. After a bit of stress I got myself situated on the trainer and got into my warm-up. The legs felt decent after a tough week of recovery after the USGP in Ft. Collins. The plan was simple, get to the start line early so I was front row and follow some wheels and see how the legs felt.
|Photo: Des Bike Pedicab|
It took what must have been 4 or 5 laps to bring him back. After the chase I opted to sit in and try to recover. We were pulling away from the chase group so there wasn't much urgency on my part to drive the pace. Kevin eventually bobbled a corner and went into the tape which handed me the lead. I set the pace for the next 3 laps before Kevin came back by.
By this point I was picking apart his strengths and weaknesses. He was faster than me on the barriers and just as clean through the corners. Usually those are two areas where I typically have an advantage so I had to find another way. I seemed to have good power on the two straightaways so with 6 laps to go I took to the front and started to force the pace. Kevin equalled my accelerations and after 3 laps of punchy riding I let up. It was going to come down to the final lap.
|Photo: Amedeo Rossi|
Behind Paul Webb was having a similar battle with Perret. Perret got the upper hand as well, just nipping Paul for 3rd place.
All in all it was pretty intense racing. McConnell and I had a good battle and I definitely got my 60 minutes worth of hard racing. The atmosphere was awesome and the payout was great. In addition to the cash purse, yes promoters, did you hear that? They paid out in cash. Nothing sucks more than getting a check for your payout. Anyway, in addition to the cash purse, I also walked away with a cool Oakley backpack and 12 pack of Miller Lite. I know, Miller Lite, hey, it's the thought counts.
A big thank you to Rob and the other promoters, super fun race, will be back next year. Although next time, I think I'll get a room and spend the night. These late night drives home have got to stop.