Jun 21, 2008

Giro di Jersey: Stage 2

I started the day by learning I got 3rd from last in the time trial (10th if you count the DNF's). Oh well, onward and upward....

The race course was five times around an 11 mile loop that followed a creek to a nice long hill with a false flat part way up and a nice kick right at the end. Next came a long, fast downhill to the start/finish. The first time up the hill I was really excited about the race. I thought the race would blow apart on the hill and hopefully I could get in a small group that would better my chances at the finish. The really cool feature of this race was no yellow line rule. I've never done a road race this long where we could use the entire road and it was pretty PRO to have them shut down the neighborhood for us.

They started us with a 5 mile neutral leadout to a narrow bridge. I understand the concern about sending 75+ racers barreling into a 10 foot wide bridge, but the rollout didn't help much and it shorted an already short race. Alright, enough whining. I spent most of the race at the back of the lead group, watching to see if any of the breakaways would stick. Everything would be brought back and I knew the only place to get away would be the hill. The first time up, I stayed toward the front and watched the action. The field strung out and I could see that there was an opportunity to attack over the top and hopefully get a big enough gap to stay away. The second time up I really drilled it on the last steep section and kept the steam on over the top, hoping someone would follow. Well, everyone followed but nobody helped. Everything came back together on the downhill and I didn't accomplish much.

So it would be the rest of the race. I drilled it a couple more times on the hill, but nothing happened. Others did the same and got the same result. On the final lap it was obvious to everyone there would be 50 guys coming into the same finish. Everyone tentatively approached the last climb. A few guys shot ahead, but we all entered the downhill together. I was feeling good, but didn't want to jockey for position at 50 mph, so I didn't have good position coming into the sprint. I ended up in the top thirty, I think.

I really enjoyed the race. It was a fantastic course and really well run. I've never done a race this big before and to feel strong and put in some good moves was great. Sometimes a race doesn't play out the way you need it too and that's fine. My only regret is not enlisting the GC leader to help set up a breakaway that would help us both. Maybe in the future I'll have the confidence to be at the front when I need to. Tomorrow is the final circuit race, so I've got one more chance to drill it and make something happen.

Afterward Tboughts and I went down to Princeton and saw the university. Its a beautiful campus, quite a bit different from SDSMT and Stony Brook.

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