Apr 28, 2007

Well, today was pretty good and not so good. It started out nice, it was warm and the sun was out and I got there with plenty of time to relax and take a look at the course. The course at the Redwater Roubaix is a circuit, made up of a gravel road 'U' and a rolling two lane road that connects the U together. We do seven laps. I thought the race would be a lot slower this year, since J.R. and Phil were gone and there was a strong headwind on the road straight. Then I saw the gravel, which was much smoother than last year with lines that would be much easier to follow.

The race rolled out pretty well. I was riding nervously because I hadn't done a group ride in a long time. I wish we had some group rides around here, not just races. Anyway, I made the lead group like I wanted(yay!) and by the end of the first lap, there were nine of us with no one in sight. There was a prime the first lap, so we were screaming along, but by the end of the second lap things had slowed up a little bit and I felt pretty good about getting to the end of the race, even if I wouldn't do much once we got there.

I didn't know many of the guys in the lead group with me, so I tried to stick to the wheels of Jim, John and Eppen. Unfortunately, on the third lap, those three decided to kick it up a notch. I'm not sure if they just wanted to set pace or if they were trying to drop someone, but either way the latter happened. I was mixing it up in front with them and realized I was working too hard and I should move back in the field. At the same time I was moving back, we went through an S-turn on the gravel, I was forced to take a rough, bad line and I was spit out the back. I chased for a little while, but I was already spent and it quickly became apparent that at that speed, I was never gonna catch them. Later on, John said that was pretty much the hardest he was riding all race and it slowed a bit pretty quickly. I spent the next four laps pedaling around by myself. I wasn't fast enough so that I could catch Jim, who was five minutes ahead of me at the finish, but I was too far ahead for anyone to catch me.

In the end I did OK. I made the break like I wanted and was able to put down power like I wanted, but I couldn't behave above threshold as well I know I can and I need to work on my pack skills.

I looks like Eppen and Dyan are the real deal. Eppen was able to take third overall. He doesn't look like he can put down a ton of power, but he's always fast. Afterward, you could really tell he left it all on the course, which I really admire about him. Dyan was in her first race ever, and was able to hang with most of the guys pretty well.

I felt bad for Calvert. He went out today for his first real ride on some new cranks and the chain fell off. I was somewhat (mostly) responsible, since I put the crank on for him. I had set up the chain to what I thought was right, but I didn't get a chance to test ride it. I should have checked up on that before the race. :/

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