Tomorrow is the 2009 Greenville Spring Training Series race at River Falls. Finally, it looks like we’ll actually be having an event in weather that really feels like spring! It is going to be great.
When approaching a race, I like to look back and see my blog entry for the previous year. It is hard to believe that I have been blogging almost daily for that long. First at StackOfStuff.net and then GreenvilleOnline.com (the Web site of The Greenville News).
Well, I did find my entry at StackOfStuff.net where I wrote about the events surrounding the race (now here), but when I went to see my tactical race report that I had posted at GreenvilleOnline.com — It wasn’t there! As a matter of fact months worth of blog posts are lost. It felt like you feel when you open your wallet and realize our credit card isn’t in there anymore. All my archived posts are no more!
I’m going to start more aggressively moving my remaining posts from GreenvilleOnline.com to LowCadence.com. My ultimate goal is to move all of my cycling posts from the two other sites to this one. Then I’ll have those years of memories in one place.
So, what about River Falls? I still remember that it was one of the first races where I felt as though I understood what was going on around me. It was also a course suited to my style of riding. No criterium is this course! It has rollers and climbs — more like Fork Shoals only it has one serious climb that takes you right up to the start finish line.
I had learned by this race who were the riders to watch. So, I just marked the guy who had been cleaning our clocks in the earlier races. On the final lap he lead us off on a break. There were about nine of us in it.
I stayed back toward the back and kept rotating off to stay back there. I wasn’t the only one doing this. Some were riding right up and sitting on the leader’s wheel and staying there. I kept trying to keep from getting that close.
This caused the smaller break to begin to shatter. However, we had a big enough gap on the rest of the field so it was going to come down to just us. Basically, the race would be decided by the person who got up the finishing climb fastest.
We started the climb and I got boxed in on the right side by the inevitable shift backward by the riders adjusting their gears. I determined to be patient and wait until the final 200 yards before doing anything drastic. Slowly I worked my way over to the left of the road. By 500 meters, I was getting beyond the slower riders.
However, as I did this, I noticed the guy I had marked earlier building a gap with two other riders. Suddenly my patience went out the window because I knew that soon they would crest the hill and I would have a hard time closing the gap. I attacked.
I crested the hill myself giving it the full gas. I was encouraged by the fact that I was closing in on the three riders ahead of me. Even though I realized I had responded late and would not challenge the top two, I did see the possibility of passing the third rider. I put a little more into it and passed him crossing the line about half a wheel ahead.
That was the race where I realized that I could do this. Had I made a few different choices on that last climb, I could very well have had my first win. That race has come to my memory several times since that day. It is one of those positive thoughts I bring to mind when the going gets rough.
I’ve always loved River Falls. I hope I can continue that love affair tomorrow.