So today was the start of the Tour of Lawrence and I came in pretty excited to race it.
Coming in on the drive I found out that the course had changed a bit, but I guess it played out to my favor because it added one more climb, but what everyone else didn’t tell me about was how bad the second downhill on the backside of the course had gotten.
Last year it was bad but this year it’s gotten worse, much worse, probably because of all of the construction that is being done up at the campus.
For starters the start/finish had been moved to the top of the last hill that probably was the easiest of the three major climbs, but right after that climb you had a long downhill. So right away from the gun I jumped into the front position to see what was going to happen.
The second we hit the first little riser we had an attack that I had jumped on but he shut it down the second he saw me on his wheel. Then he went again on the first major climb and same as the first attack he did I was right on him, which meant that he would shut it down.
Then he went again on the very sketchy down hill and once again I was on him bumping along on the road and this time he wanted to work with me but no one wanted us to get away so on the downhill false flat they made their way back on.
So once again, this happened on the next lap all in the same areas except for this time on the downhill section I hit a hard pothole or divot in the road that shot my bars/flipped around to the point where my brakes were pointing at the ground.
At this point my bike started shaking and freaking out on me so I did everything that I could to regain control of my bike while at the same time the guy that I had gone with hammered it down the hill and had a good gap on the field which had just caught up with me. That ended up being a good move for him and a disaster for me.
Eventually we would separate into a second group of four riders which included me while the guy out front would dangle off of us for the next two laps with a 10 second gap. During these two laps I would do most of the work on all of the hard areas to keep him in a range of ten to twenty seconds.
Getting no help from the other guys of course (that would have been very useful) I powered through all of the climbs with my bars set in the worst place ever trying to get comfortable, but eventually I would sit up and try and recover because I figured that the guys in the brake were trying to work me over by having me take all of the pulls because they weren’t as much worried with getting the win, but rather they were more interested in beating me.
As I mentioned with absolutely no one interested in the guy off the front, he was able to gain time on my group each lap, while I tried to conserve as much energy as I could while trying to race with my bars upside down.
So it came down to a sprint in the end, a guy from Colorado had attacked me on second climb where you would get out of the saddle and because of where my bars were I just couldn’t get in the position to put power out, which sucked.
As we approached the finishing climb I just had to suck it up tough it out so I just tried to accelerate as much as I could out of the saddle with as little leverage as I could which gave me a slight gap on the other two guys to come in for third.
I just can’t seem to catch a break, which means my time is coming so look out!