|GMSR Road race||bikerbob|
Sep 1, 2003 4:10 PM
|It was a brilliant sunny day for racing, with temps in the sixties and no clouds to be seen. Our 40+ field started off at a good pace and after five miles a three man break took off.What kind of sucked was that Arc-en-ciel had eight riders in the field and one of their guys was in the break, so a good chase didn't start until the pack went over Middlebury Gap. All I can say about that is that the break was caught at mile 64 and john McKone of Burlington won the race. I on the other hand, couldn't pass muster going up the first gap of the day and the chase group thatI was in couldn't catch back on though we were averaging 25-26 mph going north to Bristol notch. That's where the air was let out. Bristol Notch is a short, steep climb of 12%, followed by two miles of dirt. The pace never really picked back up after that as we approached the App Gap climb. I felt really strong at the start of the climb, leading the pack up the baby gap, but as we neared the Jerusalem store, my energy started to flag. I sucked wind until the start of the final climb, a 5km. climb that ends with 500 M of 18% climb. I've done that climb before, but never suffered like I did Sunday. The lead of the junior pack passed as we started the climb, along with ten cars and motorcycles, Now I know what it must be like to race in Europe, car fumes, congestion, and no room. What ever little energy I had flagged, and the group I was with started to pull ahead of me, even though I had put a 38 tooth chain ring on the day before as my secret weapon. The engine started to miss severely at this point. The last 500M loomed like Everest before me. I had to traverse the last 300m. Thankfully there were volunteers at the finish to guide one off the road and into the finish area. The ascent woud have been even harder without the cheering of the people lining the course. It's a great feeling to finally finish that race. The final climb, coming after 63 miles is brutal, but the self satisfaction of finishing is what it's all about. I came in 31/52. Two young co-workers did the citizens category of the race. Watching them finish the climb and rooting them on was great fun. The fact that anyone who can pony up the $35 can do the race is great. It helps spread the sport. If you're ever out this way, do this race. You won't regret it.