Monday, August 06, 2007

A pleasant time at the Good Valley Road Race

Rather, 'A good time at the Pleasant Valley Road Race.'

This past weekend, I lined up for the first running of the Pleasant Valley Road Race. Great course. Decent rollers, but nothing out of control. The finish was cool...a pretty steep pitch with about 200 meters to go.

The heat was the toughest part of the race. I heard several reports at the start line of temps hitting around 108 degrees. Hot!

The race was largely uneventful and I didn't feel too taxed...despite the heat. Maybe it has something to do with 15 years of athletic competition in Miami, Florida, but I tend to do okay in the extreme heat.

For me, the highlight of my race was my ill-timed move to the front. As I've mentioned, my worst enemy for a finishing sprint is, not surprisingly, position in the last km. I tried to work things out so I would move to the front for the last 3km or so. Well, my cyclometer must've been playing tricks on me. I worked my way forward thinking there were about 1.5 miles to go. Dave Crouse was up there and I got the sense he also thought we were closer to home than we were.

We jockeyed up front for about 3 more miles before we hit the final two pitches. Coming into what was the feed zone, I was sitting about third wheel. Never one to want to piss off the bunch, I held off crossing the yellow line in the closing stretch. I kinda thought we were free to move over at the base of the feed zone climb, but then I heard someone claim the road was open at 200 meters to go. Of course, I never saw a 200 meter sign. And so I never made a jump that might've won the sprint. Instead, I gave a push up the final short hill and passed a Route1 rider about 1 yard from the finish line. I try not to give up coming to the line and this time it paid off with a fifth place finish.

It was a wonderful day to be out racing bikes and it was all the better with my closest crew cheering from the sidelines. Thanks to hEllicott, the Commish, and SVR for being there at the finish and then trucking up to Ellicott City for post-race sustenance and libations. Mmmm.

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