I have 12 minutes left in my 20 minute warm up before I start drillin' it. I'm riding my road bike indoors, attached to a resistance trainer device. To help motivate me for the 30 minutes of self induced suffering which will follow the warm-up, why not frame an outline of 2009's accomplishments? Wow only 9 minutes left- this takes long to do on a Blackberry!
1. Ninigret training criteriums: Four top ten finishes in 2009, including a couple of field sprint wins. Also one 4th place overall finish in a field sprint. This is harder than it sounds.
2. I only raced Wells Ave a couple of times and on the first try I snagged a 5th place finish
::6 minutes left and my HR is still a lowly 119 bpm..
3. Three of our M1 Racing team in the top 7 of the Cyclonauts Crit 35+: J Alain Ferry wins it solo, Matt Kressy takes 4th and Yours Truly takes 7th. In the Pro race which followed, I won a $10 prime which was awesome. Someone tried to follow me for it and could not hold my wheel.
4. Masters Nationals in Turkey: I took 9th in the 10k TT going cannibal against aero kits galore, only 22 seconds off the podium.. 8th in the road race the following day.. Six man break took off right after my little break was caught- base of the hill. This is a long story.. I was dropped like a brick on the first big climb. I thought about giving up.. The guys who were dropped on the flats were catching up to me. This was a T-shaped out and back 70 km course. I still had about 50k to go, and more climbing after the turn-around. Dead legs started to revive on the downhill. I started picking people off and they were all jumping on my wheel. After about 10 minutes of completely burying myself, I caught the main field of about 25 guys, a few guys followed me there the whole way. Caught the field right at the turn-around, with dead legs, at the base of a gradually steepening 4 mile climb. I fought. I bled from my ears in pain. I chewed through my handlebars.. And about 300 meters from the top, I could no longer follow the attacks of these former pros.. Dropped again, this time for good it seemed. Field was blown apart into smithereens. Again, I want to quit so bad, I hate myself, I feel humiliated. But the race is far from over- still 40k to go.. I shake it off after the summit, the main field of about 15 guys is back together up the road, or so I thought. Another 35 mph ten mile time trial later, I caught the field, only to discover that six of the favorites detached themselves.. No one would work except my teammate Murat Akyazi and 1-2 others. Everyone else was content to race for 7th. Murat and I tried repeatedly to escape with two others- an ideal amount of HP to bridge.. No such luck- we kept getting sabotaged by blockers. At the end of the day, largely due to my efforts at the front with Murat, we held the gap to only 2:57. In the field sprint, I followed an attack at 500m to go. Sat there until 300 to go and uncorked it. Unfortunately, a was being used as a lead out by two other former national champs, who both got around me (after an hour of avoiding pulls, it was pretty cheap) one of these two were DQ'ed for taking water from a vehicle, the other one stood- making me 8th overall. What's there to be proud of here? Never giving up, no matter how strong the urge. Fighting tooth and nail from being dead last on the course, to working my way up to 8th. Next year will be different, for both the RR and the TT. Mark my words.
5. The M1 Racing team strikes again at the Concord 35+ Criterium on August 2nd. I was not feeling on form for this one, and had finished mid-field in 2008. Midway through this hammer-fest (faster speed than the previous Pro race, according to the announcer) I found myself following a serious attack and rotating with Ciaran and Billy Y.. And about 5 others. This was not the recipe for success which M1 Racing needed. Not only would I be burning matches needlessly for this group, the big guns of Matt and Alain needed to be up here. My best approach to turn this to our favor was to be an anchor. It came back together. With 10 to go, Alain came alongside and told me not to lose his wheel. I was so gassed I immediately lost him. With 5 to go he came back to get me again, and this time I followed. He went up the road as soon as we saw the front- and we blocked as best we could for a few laps. With 2 to go he was caught and even with blown legs Alain mixed right into the top 10 and stuck it out to the finish 4th place in the field sprint. Matt Kressy took the final corner in 1st place and took his 4th win of the year. For my part, I turned myself inside out to keep close to Alain and finished 9th- an impressive perfomance for me, in my book.
6. Keith Berger Criterium 30+: In 2008 I did my best result here- 6th place. I was off the front from the very start and never saw the field again. In 2009 it was a little different. Wife and I were moving the contents of our house into a condo, and I had the nerve to drop everything and go to East Hartford- tired and out of form, and I snagged 14th out of a large stacked field- which was 8th in the field sprint (5 were off the front) another win in my book, all things considered.
7. Cyclocross- I started five envents and completed four. Of these, I was lapped at only two races and I managed to complete the leader's lap at the other two. This was a first for me! I'm about as graceful as a 3-legged penguin on the barriers and on the run-ups. I expect to pull myself up into the top 50 percentile one of these days. A cross bike that doesn't suck might be helpful!
Thanks for reading.
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