Racing resumed this weekend, after 7 days of training, in Iowa City. I drove down through Minnesota with the always eclectic Bianchi/Grand Performance guys for a show-stopper of an experience.
Saturday was this windy road race somewhere between nowhere and Iowa City. So, everyone was kind of rolling around warming up way before the race. I didn't really warm up, so I decided to punch it off the line in the crosswind so I didn't have to suffer racing against a bunch of fresh riders. It turns out I wasn't the only one with this plan, and it was a great place to be the first lap as it was nice and hard! After the exciting start nothing really happened, I bridged to some moves and went solo for a few minutes only to realize that the headwind was too strong for a 1-rider break.
On the 4th lap a break got off and Marcotte, Brandt, and I brought it back through the headwind and crosswind section. The field split in the crosswind, so I bridged to the break solo after getting the gap down to about 20 seconds. Unfortunately it came back about 5 minutes later in the tailwind, where Bill Stolte went solo followed by Steve Scholzen. The two never worked together, so Bianch, All-9-Yards, and I were able to pull it back for a field sprint. The sprint sucked, with a 25mph headwind and uphill pitch. I tried to dive around the Trek leadout with 150 meters to go, but they promptly pulled off into the gutter and I had to hit the brakes hard.
Sunday was the Old Capitol Crit. 40 laps of 1 km with a nice little hill to break the legs in. I stayed in the front 10 riders the first 30 minutes of the race, throwing in some attacks at the top of the hill when the field was strung out. But, everyone expected the attacks to go there and nothing stuck. 30 minutes in a break slipped off and I bridged to it, but the field was close on our heels.
I went for a 3 place preem and came around the Trek guys for a sweet prize 40 minutes in. But this kind of dug me a bit of a hole, and my asthma kicked in. I really couldn't recover at all after this happened--it sucked! It's been a while since my asthma held me back, but today it held me back big time. I missed the break right after the preem. Finally I felt better with 10 laps to go and I attacked on the top of the course to take a preem and try to bridge to the break. Again, I died on the hill and wheezed my way right back to the field. So, I sat in for the 4th place field sprint, where I didn't put myself in the right spot and only got 8th overall.
School is catching up with me...time to study!