I rolled out of bed at like 11:30 in South Bend, packed up my stuff for the summer and drove straight to U of Chicago for the Monster's race. It was 75 and sunny when I left Indiana, and it was 40 and raining when I got to U of C. The field was way smaller than last year. I think last year we had like 70 guys in this race...today there were only 25. I suspect a lot of people got scared off by the weather. Too bad, since the organizers did a great job putting this thing together.
A few moves tried to go early. I chased a little bit here and there. The main move got away like 20 minutes into the race. Guys were sitting up and letting bridge attempts go at will. I hit the front and cleaned up all the chase moves so it was just a 4 man break. One guy crashed or flatted, so it was down to three. Even though they ended up getting 30 seconds on us, I knew there was a chance we'd get them if they slowed down too much at the end. My teammate Tony took a few pulls, and did a great job hanging in there even though he already raced. With 15 to go, Chris Padfield hit the front and did a great job...he pulled for over ten laps and shelled a bunch of guys from the chase group. With one to go he was still pulling. I was sort of getting complacent on his wheel though, since two guys attacked with 400 meters to go and got a small gap. I decided to try and jump onto the group. That took a lot out of me and so I had to settle for seventh. We caught the break on the line.
Tomorrow is Fox River Grove, a race VERY ill suited to me. But it's important to get out of your comfort zone and do a race where you know you'll get your butt kicked. It builds character, it's good for fitness, and its kind of fun to do something other than a normal flat crit. So I'm looking forward to it, even though I guarantee I'll embarrass myself.