10AM. Sunday, April 1st. I shouldn't be at my desk in front of this computer. I should be warming up at Tyson's. But sometimes...the stars don't really align. It's misting outside, I was up until 1:30AM and woke up restless at 5:45AM, I had a touch too much vino last night, and my throat feels like it's starting to close up on me. All excuses. But, shit, I just don't feel up to it. And so I'm here, feeling warm, a little foggy-brained, and heavy-legged.
Yesterday, I had a blast at the Tour of Walkersville.
Before I go there, let's travel back in time to last Sunday. I did Jeff. Cup. That was also a blast. Great roads and beautiful country. It was warm, I cramped up with about four miles to go, and that was about all she wrote. No breaks stuck. We came down to a field sprint finish and I just wasn't positioned right. Oh well. Finished with the pack. The race, though, was a big psychological success. I hadn't raced on the road since I crashed at Coppi last season. I had to overcome some mental blocks to get back out there at speed with the group.
Walkersville turned out much better than Jeff. Cup. With some advice from my ever-wise teammate, Josh, I started the race knowing where I needed to be on the last lap if I expected to even be a contendah.
Long story short...I stayed up front coming out of the final turn. There was some definite slowing approaching the final 500 meters. Coming up on about 350 to go, there was a lot of unnecessary shouting from some of the guys who wanted the front of the race to move faster. The speed ramped up and just off to my right, poor Pete Custer got tied up in a pretty bad crash. I heard it and saw it and then saw a huge Ridley, without its rider attached, flying through the air...about six feet off the ground. I watched the bike fall to the earth and knew I needed to swerve a bit left to avoid running into it. Thankfully, there was room to my left and I avoided certain disaster.
With that unfortunate crash came some wide open space on the righthand side of the road. I looked ahead and saw about five guys up the road, each with a few feet between 'em. There were probably about 100 meters to go at that point and I was picking up speed. I was pretty surprised that I was able to pick 'em off...one by one. This move, however, was none so subtle. After feeling Pete's crash, I didn't want to see or be part of another. For that reason, I announced my entire sprint to any and all who were ahead of me. As I motored down the right side, I shouted the whole way, "Coming on your right. On your right. Watch your right." Not exactly stealth tactics.
In the end, Joel (Route 1) came up on my left and almost caught me at the line. I threw the bike and I think that made the difference. At first, I assumed he was one of the guys I passed as I was closing in on the line. I assumed one of those guys was able to latch on as I came past and then follow me to the line. Joel later explained he was latched onto my wheel the whole time I moved up the right side. Go figure. I had no idea he was there. Thankfully, though, I had what it took to fend him off this time.
As much as I'd like to see what I could put together for two days in a row, I think my health will probably benefit from skipping out on Tyson's. I can't say I'm thrilled with my decision, but I think it's the right one. On top of it all, SVR leaves for Paris again tonight and I'd like to spend some good time with her before her trip.
I'd be remiss not to mention last night's meal. Citronelle was not as good as the first time I went. It was, however, decadent and a special meal. I know Drew had a great time. It's hard to believe I've been such close friends with him for twelve years! Amazing.