Sunday I headed up to Baldwin City, KS for my first road race in over 2 years. I raced the old men 35+ so I could race with some of my Slimen team mates. The day started off on the wrong foot when I over slept by about a half hour & had to hit the floor running. Luckily I had packed every thing in the car Sat night & all I had to do was pour the coffee & start driving. 2 hours later I hit Kansas City(yes I used the turbo). It helps that its now 4 lane all the way to KC via Clinton.
Back to oversleeping. Friday night my cell phone/alarm clock disappeared. Vanished off the face of the planet. I knew I had brought it in the house & put it on the counter after work Friday. I was pretty sure I didn't take it to the Big Smith show with me. But for the life of me could not find it. Turns out Mia had decided to play with it & managed to sneak it into her Papa's van. Finally Sunday Amber was able to track it down. Wasn't to worried about the phone or the numbers in it but would have been bummed to loose 2 years worth of Mia pics of it. This week they are getting downloaded for sure.
Back to the race. The 35+ race the largest field with half of them being from team 360(the old team x). It was nice of them to post their Sunday group ride for everyone to attend. The course isn't anything overly hard. The wind is what makes it hard, plus a hill top finish(big ring). We had to do 4 laps so I had planned on pretty much sitting in & hiding out. 360 had different plans. When we'd hit the cross winds they'd "gutter" us to the left making everyone ride the yellow line. When we'd hit the headwind section they'd have 1 or 2 guys sit up & cause big gaps. They had the numbers so they got to dictate tactics. After being intentionally gapped off a few times I said screw this & got to the front 2 rows & started marking one of the main 360 guys. On the 2nd lap 6 guys got away. Wasn't too worried about it since the wind was pretty hard. But we kept catching the 3/4 field so things were hard to keep track off. Just after the start of the 3rd lap Tom Price & Phil Gronniger attacked HARD! I took off chasing trying to bridge up. I burned a bunch of matches but was able to latch on & start pulling through.
When we hit the head wind section we kind of sputtered until Steve Songer(360) bridged up then I knew the break was going to work since he's one of their main guys. I figured I'd work enough to help stay away & hide at the back until someone would cry foul then work a little then go back to hiding. We managed to catch the break of 6 which had come apart so the main break became 9 with 2 teams having 2 guys each & me the lone Slimen & 1 Local Cycling guy, & 1 OKC Velo guy,& 1 strong unattached guy. On the 4 lap Tom & Phil put in a huge attack which I managed to cover but as soon as I bridged up they went again putting me hard on the rivet. Luckily Songer came through & we bridged on. In hind sight I probably should have let the group pull me back up but it sure looked like they were going to stay away. The hard effort to bridge brought about the cramps. I knew the hill top finish was going to kill me. I just sat in & tried to stretch a little over the last 5k.
Coming into the hill I thought maybe I should get in the 38 (I'm running a 38 this year so there isn't much change from cx), but figured if I had any chance I'd better big ring it. We hit the base & my legs started to feel ok so I waited for the attack from Tom or Phil. It came at 200 meteres to go I last about 10 sec then popped/cramped big time. In that time span a pretty big gap opened up & I tried to hold on but Songer came around me on the line once again & I struggled in for 4th. It turned out to be a lot harder race than I figured it would be. The numbers showed some really hard efforts. I hit my max HR twice.