Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ronde van Brisbeen Criterium

Last weekend I competed in my first road event (EVER) as a Category 5 rider – the only road experience had been from group rides and the Mt. Tam Hill Challenge. It was difficult to fall asleep the night before the race and the techno music across the street did not help my situation. The next morning I jumped into the shower at 5:30am and had a Clif Bar for breakfast with a double shot of espresso. My teammate rolled up to the apartment at 6:15am and we loaded his car with wheels, trainer, bike and my gear bag.

The course was being set-up as we drove into the parking lot and a few riders were already spinning on their trainers. Matt and I unpacked our gear and walked to the registration to get our numbers. Once back to the car we set-up the trainers and spun for about 30-40 minutes with hooded sweatshirts and iPOD in the back pocket of my jersey.

The race course had a few technical areas and a 180 degree turn which caused several people to fall on the 2nd and 3rd lap of our race. I rode up front to avoid the chaos and worked with some riders to push the pace. Eventually, one rider wanted to work together and we rode away from the pack for 3 laps until he dropped back into the main group. There were 12 laps to go and I did not want to slow down, so I put my head down and visualized a cyclocross race or time trial. The wind was strong on the main straight away, so I stayed low and aero in my hoods for most of the race. During the final laps I threw up on myself – it was funny and tasted like cookies and Red Bull. On the last lap I stepped the pace up one more time and finished strong. This weekend I plan on racing the Martinez Criterium and look forward to more road race experience. In the meantime I will do my best to keep the page updated with fresh news and interesting articles.

Thanks for reading