Last weekend was a pretty cool 3 day event in Youngstown, OH. It had a TT, crit, rr, and another crit. I of course skipped the TT mostly because it started super early in the morning and I woulda had to spend another day on the road to do it. Plus I didn't see anywhere that you had to start every stage to be in contention for the overall - more on that later.
The 1st crit was tough with 6 Jittery guys and a ton of Panther guys.. like 8 I think. And I was the lone Kenda rider. I was feeling good and just tried to cover and go across to as many breaks as I could. It was tough b/c every break seemed to have 2 Jittery and 2 Panther in it. I made the decisive move but with 5 laps to go a Panther and Jittery guy got away from me. The rest of us looked at each other and ended up getting caught. A couple more got away and I held on for 7th.
The road race the was absolutely brutal.. at least for me. Over 4000 feet of climbing in 65 miles with a 2 mile climb along the way. I was hoping I could get away early to make the hill easier but I tried and it failed. I was in a group that got caught right at the bottom of the 1st climb but I managed to suffer over that one... The next one I was not so lucky. I lost contact about a kilometer from the top and as I got over the top I almost turned around.. but I thought, ah I'll give it a dig and see if I can catch on. My legs were going good over the rollers and I caught on and suffered through a really hilly section. As it flattened out I attacked again up to a little group and soon we were 7. We started working pretty well and all the sudden we had a minute. I was actually just hoping to get back to the town but we had 2 minutes coming through town.. but with 33 miles to go. We kept working well and ended up staying away the whole race. With about 5 miles to go we split as the official was talking to us.. All the sudden 3 guys were up the road. My legs were on the verge of cramping as we had no feeds but I tried to close it. In the end we worked hard to stay away and I was 5th on the day. Nice ride boys! You know who you are! Needless to say I was pretty wrecked after that one.
The last day was pretty much of the same. I went with moves but missed the winning break and was 10th on the day.
All in all I ended up 8th overall.. even after a "certain rider" protested to get me out of the GC. But the race was done on points and said nothing in the bible about having to start each day. So I protested and proved my point correctly. So in the end I was back in the overall at 8th. Not that I really cared to much about 8th but it was more to prove I was right and YOU were wrong! haha...
This was a super cool race especially for the 1st year.. will be a big one and looking forward to it already next year... check it out at Tour of the Valley.
A couple nice regional races this weekend with good fields. My fitness is right on track for the big races coming up so I'm super stoked about that. Looking forward to riding with the team this weekend and doing some damage.
Here are some pics from the weekend:
Hard to shake the Panther boys...