Monday, May 12, 2008

Leg Breaker

Racing is a funny thing. There are some days you and your teammates can jump into every move going up the road only to have every move be reeled in. Then, there are the days when you find yourself in THE break without trying and without seeing the peloton again. Saturday was one of the latter.

We rolled out of the Sterling school after some typical parking lot shenanigans. I realized very quickly this would be tough day. There were no long hills, but the short, punchy climbs were enough to cause pain.

The first hour of racing was filled with the normal aggression. Attack. Chase. Counter attack. Chase. I was content following wheels and waiting for the finish 80 miles later. However, with three laps nearly complete, a large group splintered off the front. The usual contenders were there. But, more importantly Damien and Fleming were there. If I wanted to hangout I had to ride over a small, five second gap. The decision was easy, and I soon found myself getting pull time with our eight man breakaway. Unfortunately, the hanging out part was difficult as my legs were being rebelious. For the next 30 miles, I pulled through and pulled off. Pulled through and pulled off. During this time, I was arguing with my legs for every pedal stroke.

Me: Come on boys, let's keep moving. Full speed ahead!

Right Leg: Wooooo. Wo. This ain't right, man! I'm more cramped than three families and four dogs crammed in a mobile home!

Left Leg: Dude, this is full speed. Go find me a Lazy Boy. Maybe a hammock.

Suddenly, my argument was interrupted by Dan Cassidy and Alec Donahue. Apparently, there pulled a chase group up to our break. Clearly, they had no intentions of hanging out, because Dan, Donahue and McCormack decided to ride away. Cool kids.

With three laps of misery remaining, I beat my legs into submission. They gave up the argument and just pedaled. They were probably a bit embarassed by RKelly who was standing on the side of the hill yelling. Our once united breakway turned into a war zone as the finish line loomed ahead. Attacks were numerous but the chases were successful. At this point, Fleming decided he was too cool and wanted to hangout alone. Despite our efforts, Damien and I weren't able to pull him back.

The last time up the finish climb was hard. My legs had been cramping for about 20 miles and they were finally completely cooked. Maybe even overcooked. So, I limped in for 12th. Overall, I'm happy. It's my best result to date and hanging out in the break was "fun". Matt Rossman came through with the field sans RKelly. As previously mentioned, Ryan found the only sharp metallic object on the course and shredded his tire. It made a pretty cool noise but killed his chances of racing more than 5 miles.

Anyway, this weekend is Sunapee and we will have the full team together for the first time. Any chances of winning? Ohh I hope so.

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