Saturday's race at Mizzou was a 60 mile jaunt through rolling hills on very rural roads. I started things off with a nice attack, in which one Northwestern rider followed me and sat on for a while. After 6 minutes things came back together, and another big attack went down. This time Freshie Steve was in the move, so I sat in the field and waited for things to happen. Eventually after two steep climbs, the entire peloton came together.
I sensed that everyone was catching their breath, so I attacked again up the side of the road. No one followed me, so I gave it full gas until a long downhill section where I checked my gap on the field--they were out of sight already.
I tucked down into the aero position and gav'er for a while. After 1 lap off the front, no one was in sight and the gap was reportedly pretty large, so I started to ease up a bit and conserve energy for when a chase group bridged up to me.
After another lap away, a chase group bridged up to me just like I thought. The stronger riders in the field were in the break, including Josh Tarrant, Jon Meyers, Reed Tanger, Derek Lann, Brandon Gavic, and my teammate Fred. It was a really good situation, and over the course of the next lap we worked well together and put some serious time into the field.
Our time gap over the field soared to well over 6 minutes, so we started to dick around and wait for the last lap when we could really duke it out for the win. On the final lap, things stayed pretty chill until the 2 steep climbs on course. Fred attacked there and got a good gap, while I sat on the rest of the remaining breakaway.
Then Josh put in a pretty solid attack and bridged up to Fred in no time. It was a very threatening move, and I was tempted to jump across and follow it--but Fred was having a great day, and I was sure he'd at least give Josh a run for his money to take the win. So I just sat on the breakaway all the way to the finish, where I took the uphill sprint for 3rd.
In hindsight, I wish the other breakaway riders could have worked harder, brought things back together, and brought out another round of attacks. With two team riders in the winning break, it would have been hugely to our advantage to reshuffle the cards again once everyone is tired. Next time, we'll try and play it a bit differently to try and ensure UW takes the win.
On Sunday's TT, I got to bust out the beater Leader TT bike for what I thought would be an awesome 9 mile time trial. It turns out that the race organizer decided to change things up a bit at the start, letting us know that we would start racing only 40 minutes after announcing times! That meant a huge scramble to get kitted up and the bikes ready to go. A 10 minute warmup was all I could manage before I took to the start line.
The legs were great for the first half of the TT--the strong crosswind and rolling hills at the end of the course suited my style well. After the turnaround, though, things turned around and I couldn't get on top of my gear at all. I suffered, the legs didn't seem to want to open up and give everything. So after suffering for a few minutes, I stood up, readjusted, and got ready to settle in for the rest of the race...which abruptly ended 300 meters later! Talk about misjudging it.
All in all, it was good enough for a 2nd place behind Josh again. 20:40 was the time, about 44 Km/Hr average speed in the end.