Monday, July 11, 2011

2011 mid-year race wrap-up

With the Tour de 'Toona this past weekend my road racing for the year is pretty much done. I may jump into something in late August or September (and hopefully at least one more mountain bike race), but my mind and focus is pretty much on cross from this point forward. Two weeks off, then a comfortable build-up for the mud-slinging good times of the cx circuit. (And the blessed cooler weather of the fall months.)

So, a review of what's gone down in 2011 thus far.

March 19. Philly Phlyer (3/4). 18 of 50+
March 20. Prospect Park CR (3/4). Somewhere in the middle of a pretty big crew.
April 2. Marysville MTB team relay. (Does this race even have results?)
April 9. Fulton RR (3/4). 1 of 50+.
April 16. SoYoCo CR (3/4). 3 of 30+?
April 17. Carlisle 40km TT. 2 of ? (57:02)
May 1. Michaux Maximus (20 mi). 2 of 26 (age group); 4 of 84 (overall)
May 7. Turkey Hill RR (3/4). 37 of 100.
May 14. Poolsville RR (35+). 13 of 75.
May 28. Killington SR, Stage 1, CR (3). 62 of 88.
May 29. Killington SR, Stage 2, TT (3). 18 of 88.
May 30. Killington SR, Stage 3, RR (3). 38 of 85.
-- Killington SR, GC (3). 25th.
June 11. PA Elite State Championship 40km TT (3). 3 of 13. (56:04)
June 17. TOWC Kick-Off Classic Criterium (3/4). 45 of ?
June 17. TOWC Kick-Off Classic Criterium (1/2/3). dnf.
June 18. Guy's Neshaminy Classic (Expert 19-39). dnf.
July 9. Tour de 'Toona SR, Stage 1, RR (3). 21 of 42.
July 10. Tour de 'Toona SR, Stage 2, Crit (3). 23 of 48.

That, friends, is a resume of mediocrity.

I told Valerie after Fulton (easily my biggest result in the past five years) that I should just hang it up for the year...I wasn't going to beat that result (it was a kind of Johann Van Summeren right-place-right-time, just-strong-enough thing). The comment proved prophetic.

But I feel good about my result at SoYoCo. Out of how many ever started (a good portion of the pre-registered riders didn't even bother to show up), only about a dozen finished. Conditions were terrible--heavy rain, wind, running water on the roads...and probably my favorite race of the year. Not only do I love that course, but those conditions were just awesome. That was bike racing. (That those who didn't even bother to show up can call themselves bike racers is a travesty.)

The second place at the Michaux Maximus was pretty good too, but I'm sure all the fast guys were doing the 40-miler...

A near miss at Poolsville... I finished 13th...but what that doesn't say is that I finished the day near the back of a select group that saw attack after attack over the last five miles with no one getting anywhere for long. I was in several breaks, the last of which formed on the dirt section of the final lap. There were five or six of us, then another six or seven bridged up within a mile or two after the dirt. Anyway, I felt great, rode a super aggressive race, and among a really stellar field finished right there among the leaders. Thirteenth place overall, fifth cat 3.

But besides feeling good about the bronze medal in the PA Time Trial State Championships (finishing four minutes under an hour in a 40km ITT feels pretty decent), the rest of the season has been mediocre at best. That's not to say I haven't had fun at the races (note the last post), because I have, but I also like to do well, and I finish poorly more often than not. But that seems to be bike racing, when you find your level of incompetence rising through the USAC category system, as apparently I have.

Hurrah for cross season! (Hope springs eternal for the rider...)

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