This weekend was the Tour de Husker put on by UNL Cycling. This was the start of the road racing season for me last year and is getting this season started for me as well. The series is 3 races consisting of a Road Race, Team Time Trial and a Crit. I only did the Team Time Trial and the Crit since I decided to go to Braeden's soccer game since I'm going to miss most of the rest cause of mountain bike races. Sounds like it was the right move since there was 3 different crashes.
The TTT was a 11 mile lap around Branched Oak lake and I was ready to do this and see how the Felt B2 performed under race conditions. As we lined up Sean and I were both on TT bikes and Ryan and Rick were on regular road bikes. We knew that they would be at a disadvantage but the plan was for Sean and I to do most of the work and just keep one of them with us since the time was taken on the third rider. As we got started we were going pretty good and I was trying to keep things at a reasonable pace to keep the rest of the guys with me since I was feeling good and wanted to just hammer it. We made it through the first big climb still as a group but on the downhill there is a turn and usually when we are doing a reglar road race that turn is typically a spot when people hammer it and go and both Sean and I dropped down into the drops and just sailed not realizing that we were leaving Rick and Ryan far behind. When we realized this we had to sit up and soft pedal until Rick caught back up with us. After that we kind of just cruised to let Rick hang on. He was struggling after having already done a full road race that morning and then to be on a road bike while we were on TT bikes he was at a definite disadvantage.
We crossed the line at 41:14. Not to bad and good enough for 5th place. I defintely think that if Rick had been on a TT bike and fresh we could have shaved minutes off of our time.
On Sunday morning was the Crit at Pioneers Park. I woke up that morning feeling ok and hung out with the kids and ate breakfast before kitting up and riding over to the park. Since it is only a few mintues from my house by bike and I thought it would be ridiculous to drive over.
The course was a loop through part of the park with a nasty hill with a 6% grade on it right to the finish line that we would climb over and over again.
When I got there I met up with the team guys and stowed my backpack in one of their cars and went to warm up with the rest of the guys. After the Cat 5 race I went out to do a practice lap on the loop thinking that I had about 20 minutes. The problem was that I didn't and when I got to the start line I realized that everyone was lining up and I heard someone say they were waiting for me but I was able to get a spot next to Sean right on the front of the start line.
The race got started and I was sitting right in the front 5 to 6 riders where I wanted to be and was in good shape through the first 5laps. I lost my teammate Sean somewhere along the way and was on my own working in a group that consisted of a team of 4 riders who I felt were trying to get me out. On the beginning of the 6th lap they rang the bell for a prime and a group of 3 attacked I decided not to try and go with it hoping they wouldn't stay to far out in front. After we got through the 7th lap the lead group of 3 was still off the front I decided we needed to try and chase them down so I went to the front and picked up the pace to start chasing. The problem was that the rest of the group did not want to do any work and the team of 4 was right on my wheel and when we got to the hill they attacked and spit me right out the back. At that point I wa pretty spent and couldn't hang on and watched the group roll away from me.
I spent the rest of the race in the middle of no man's land and finshed the race in 11th place out of 18. Not exactly the best way to start my road season but it is typical of my past racing season's to start slow and race myself into form.
Now I'm just looking forward to the beginning of my XC Mountain bike season to get started in less than 2 weeks.