For a fun (and funny) race report, read what the winner had to say about how it all went down here.
(1) My beard is not bad. It is awesome. Actually it's not really a beard at all--I think of it as the consequence of not shaving. But it's still awesome. (Personal bias, obviously, but beards that require maintenance are girly. Hair: keep it wild and free or get rid of it all together.)
(2) The "He must be a mountain biker" comment is hilarious. Yes, I do like a little fat-tire fun, but I'm sure my mountain biking friends would read that and roll their eyes. (While it may be a little pathetic that I'm still towing the line at Cat 3 road races after so long, I started road racing in 1989...so I think I've earned my roadie stripes.)
(3) But what's really funny about the mountain bike thing is the "roadies and mountain bikers don't always mix" thing. Why not? Because mountain bikers have way more fun and don't take themselves near as seriously? :-) We could all learn a lot from mountain bikers...
(4) Not a response to Craig, but a related point about the Morgantown RR in general: take a cue from the mountain bike crowd and let's have some fun after the race! I mean, I know you didn't expect us to be sitting around for hours waiting for our results (not your fault), but still, how about some music (you had the PA system right there)? How about some food vendors? How about...anything? Road races, besides the actual racing part, are so boring. Anyone who's been to both mountain bike (or cyclocross) and road events knows what I'm talking about. Promoters, get with it, man. Want to attract a crowd? Make your race into a legitimate event! (For a case study in boring, let me submit the Rich Ruoff / Dave Butterworth model. Even when you win you leave feeling mildly let down. For a case study in good, Turkey Hill. I'm totally sick of the race itself, but I'm still going this year. Why? My daughter looks forward to it all year!)
(5) I know he didn't know me or anything, but I can't help but be a little offended the dude didn't think I could climb. (Tell me, Craig, who was putting the hurt on with the last climb, eh? You forgot to mention that you didn't (couldn't?) pull through once.
(6) When he asked if I knew how much further we had I thought he was asking if I knew how far we had on the pack, to which I first answered, "Nope," but then modified my answer in the form of a complaint against motorcycle officials that give the pack time checks but fail to give any information to those in the break. I hate that. Anyway, he didn't respond. Now, realizing that's not what he asked, I assume he had no idea what I was talking about.
(7) On the matter of conversation, I think in total words said I won. I mean, besides the perhaps unintelligible rant against moto officials, I also initiated conversation immediately after bridging. When I caught Craig I pulled up along side and (politely) asked how he was feeling. When he said he could work, I think I responded with something appropriately hip and witty like, "Giddy-up" or similar, then (again, politely) moved to the front and took a nice long pull even though I'd just finished bridging the gap. So, you know, I can make conversation. (I do, after all, make a living from talking.)
(8) Chapeau on the finish. (You deserved it.) I didn't see the 1k marker (as was alluded), and I really should have attacked earlier. Multiple times. After the last climb, in a TT to the finish, I'm sure I would have won. But that's not bike racing, and I was clearly out raced. (Too focused on driving the break, and not enough focused on winning the race.) Anyway, nice work, Craig. It was an awesome win.