This weekend I headed out to South Bend IN. Yes, there was a race in downstate IL, but I’m a Hoosier. And let’s face it, a 5 hour drive each way was not my idea of a good time. Now a 90mi trip was ok.
I entered the Cat 4/5 race thinking the field would be small. I’ve been having a hard time this year finding my race legs, so nice easy race would be right on time. Well, I was wrong. We had 41 starters on a .6mi loop with a small hill on the back of the course.
At the start of the race I moved into 4th wheel and decided I would try and stay in the top 5 riders to stay out of trouble. We did the first few laps at a good pace that’s when things slowed down, like way down. So I went to the front and put in a really hard effort for 2 laps. I looked back and saw 3 riders from the Spin Zone team leading the pack on my wheel. So I flicked my elbow and moved over, but none of them would pull through. So I sat up and soft peddled. That’s when someone else made a big attack. The guys from spin zone did the same thing. They shut it down than sat on the lead rider’s wheel. I told myself that’s fine I will slide into the middle of them, and let them do all the work. The only problem was they slowed way down and the pack would rush up the sides. It caused a lot of turmoil leading to several crashes. Midway into the race I got caught in one of them. 2 riders got their handle bars caught up and then freaked out. I was directly behind them and had nowhere to go. I had my front wheel hit, but was able to put a foot down and saved myself from crashing. When I tried to clip back in I was hit from behind by a group of riders off the back. I managed to get back to the wheel pit and change out the front wheel to get back into the race. I went right back to the front to reestablish my spot.
On the last lap the field got ugly again. The field rushed the inside to turn 1 and the front guys were not going fast, so the field bunched up, and down they went. This time I was sitting mid pack on the outside. I had to hit the brakes to avoid the carnage. I saw around 8 riders in front of me with a huge gap. So I hit it hard and passed few of them before the last turn. I was able to sprint past 1 more on the final straight away before the finish to take 4th Place