It's hard to believe that four weeks ago I raced in leg warmers and long sleeves at Monsters of the Midway. This weekend was a scorcher. Driving from Chicago to South Bend on Saturday I left 90 degree weather and drove through a torrential downpour where my thermometer dropped to 74 degrees. It was going to be a rainy one.
As soon as the race before ours finished, the sky opened up. Bob Murray told me about his race, which was a crashfest but a good result. I was glad it was raining. I simply haven't raced in the heat enough this year. I blew a gasket at Spring Prairie in the heat last weekend and only lasted a lap of the road race. During the rain before the race I rode around the course to warm up while everyone else in the field huddled under a willow tree. I don't mind crittin' in the rain though and I figured getting wet was inevitable so I figured I'd embrace it. The race started slow and safe. A few gaps opened up here and there but nothing lasted. I spent the first 20 minutes trying to make a split happen but then I gave up. A promising move went with a few laps to go. My field sprint strategy was to hang back and drill it to get to the front on the backstretch, but I got caught out. I coasted in for 20th or so.
Sunday was another hot one but not as bad as it could have been. I went on the attack a few times. The weird thing was I kept ending up off the front with local South Bend guys that I know. It seems to me that if guys know me well they'd know I haven't been riding well and they'd NOT want to attack with me, but whatever. Somehow the few teams that were there let a killer two man move go. Every other serious move from then on attracted attention from the one Optum Kelly Benefits pro team rider, which (due to no fault of his) killed the move since everyone wants to piggyback on the strategy of the pro guy rather than think for themselves. So I gave up the chase and committed to the field sprint again. Whoever lead it out on the backstretch did a magnificent job. It was totally strung out. Yet again I was caught out and rolled in outside the money. I've felt so terrible on the bike lately I can't complain.