Plein Air Classic Criterium

After a late night (operationally defined by me as getting to bed after 11:00 after having several alcoholic beverages over the span of several hours), I wasn’t feeling bad, but also wasn’t feeling amazing when I woke up Sunday morning. When we arrived at the Ole Miss campus for the race, I found Debbie and we discussed the day’s plan- AKA “more of the same” from the day before.

After I warmed up and rode a lap of the course, I could tell that my legs didn’t have their normal “pop” that’s necessary for a good attack. It ended up not mattering, though- Debbie sprinted for the 1st lap prime- a handlebar/stem- and did that superhuman thing where she counters herself and drops everyone. I was pretty close to her wheel when I realized what she was doing, so I pulled through to allow someone else close the gap.

No one would even try.

No one wanted to chase. The three others lined up on my wheel and would not move- they told me that there was no way they were going to try and chase just to have me counter-attack them once they were tired. So, I rode the remainder of the race at about 19 mph. I was bored and even attempted to convince them that they should work together to at least pick up the pace, because if Debbie lapped us, then I was guaranteed a leadout for the sprint… it was to no avail, though. I started making a mental plan for how I was going to win the sprint for 2nd from my position in the front.

Luckily, though, my plan was not needed. About halfway through the last lap, Jo (Team Kenda Tire) tried to attack the group. I grabbed her wheel and, no matter how much she swerved, brake-checked, and threatened to wreck us all, refused to leave it. Judith (NOBC) decided to pull around us and set pace to the finish, which made things much safer. Natalie (Tiger Cycling) jumped first at the sprint. I took her wheel long enough to get on my 53×11 and jumped around her into the hardest sprint I could muster. Sucess! I crossed the line with a good gap ahead of the others.

I really enjoyed working with/for Debbie over the weekend. She is infinately nice, and I’m looking forward to riding with her again whenever I figure out what my next road race will be. I may change my mind about going to the 12 hour Duathlon on August 22nd and head to Oak Ridge instead. The payout at that one last year was pretty sweet, and I’ve got a State RR jersey to defend as well.