|Finish line photo from last night's crit!|
Bergen Hills Road Race - 111 kmWell, just like I have for the past 2 years, I awoke on Sunday morning thinking, oh gawd... still have one more race, and I have to drive to Bergen Hills...
However this time I had very little pressure on me. After the great result last night, I reckon I was 1-3 points shy of upgrading to Cat 3, assuming there are no points for the ACSW or JayLap overall classification.
No rush for that I figured, maybe get to race Pigeon Lake in cat 4 next year.
Also, today I had a job to do for the team.
I arrive and warmup with Stephen Kenny and we discuss the plan. With Peter 30s back on GC Stephen would turn up the pain dial in the 2nd lap, try to shed guys, maybe cause a break.
Check. Dropped about 7 or 8 guys on the big climb on the back side.
I was trying to keep Peter from the front by marking the Bici bros, or any other serious attacks. There were none, a couple of solo flyers, none of which stuck.
Last lap, our selection of 14 intact, the pace was nice and easy. As we round the final 20 km, Peter was too far in front for my liking, but you can't contain that man... like taking a kid to Toys R' Us.
I asked Stephen if he could pull from 1.5 km out, and I would take Peter to the 200m sign. He confessed he had cooked himself and would likely not be much help in the leadout to the uphill finish.
Nonetheless, as we approach the last couple km but who else is back in the front but Stephen, behind him Peter, then the Bici's. I'm in right behind them, but the pace is slowing into that nasty headwind. I see Bryon Howard on the right, but there is room.
We pass the 1000m sign and nothing happens. Still have a long climb, then flat, then a short steep punch to the finish.
Maybe another hundred meters goes by and it's my turn.
I go flying on the right side like gangbusters, calling to Peter to latch on as I fly by.
I red line up the climb, then turn on the flat to indicate I'm toast and Peter can take it from here.
Except there's no Peter. Instead I see a Revelstoke guy and the friendly face of Barrie, independent. Then a gap. A huge gap!
The 2 guys I leadout take off and Barrie wins it! I am so roasted, I can barely ride up that last kicker to the finish. Thankfully the pack is still way back there. I barely manage to coast in for a 3rd place, and immediately pull over to the side and rest on my handlebars for about 5 minutes.
Talking with Peter after I guess he had no response to catch on to the wheel, but managed to keep his 3rd place in ACSW GC.
EpilogueWell, I survived the inaugural Alberta Cycling Super Week, and all's I got was:
- One less lung, thanks to mass sprint up COP hill. 18th overall, bitter...
- Karma points in TdB RR for working for Isaac.
- Road rash on 1/3 of my body and a bruise on my "lower back" the size of a grapefruit when attempting to cash in that karma point by having Isaac lead me out in the TdB circuit race.
- More great teamwork in TdB crit covering attacks, blocking, and a decent sprint finish, +6 upgrade points.
- 10th place in TdB GC, +1 point.
- 7th place in 20km ITT - first ever upgrade points from the Orbea!! +4 points.
- After volunteering cleanup of JayLap hill climb, I end up a disappointing 49 seconds behind the leader. GC hopes are shot, again.
- First ever victory in cycling, JayLap criterium!! -1 karma point, +20 upgrade pts.
- Back to back podiums, 3rd in Road Race. +12 pts.
- Despite my atrocious climbing ITTs, I finish ACSW GC in 5th, and JayLap GC in 6th.
- Add it all up along with the 18 points I had coming in, and that puts me well over the 50 needed to get to cat 3.
It looks like we'll have the same killer team in cat 3 next year, and many of the same opponents there as well!
Looking forward to it already, although I'm physically and mentally completely done with racing.
At least until cyclocross season in the fall...
Oh yea, lacking any kind of formal wrap up party, I'm thinking a BBQ in the next couple of weekends is in order.
More deets to come!