A.K.A. Chase Debbie Milne around for 50 more minutes to finish off your season…
Tough race! Deppie and Lauren from Probike worked together to put me through the wringer. I didn’t trust anyone else to chase down Debbie’s attacks (don’t get me wrong- there were some strong riders out there, but I figured it was too much of a risk of letting her go if I was to sit up & wait for someone else to try and do it), so I volunteered myself to chase them all down… which included each of the numerous primes and various other random times throughout the race. Each time, Lauren would stick to my wheel with the rest of the field trailing behind her. I left covering other attacks up to the rest of the field, which helped me recover a bit in order to counter when they were caught. None of my counter-attacks stuck, though. I don’t know for sure, but I think that either Lauren or Debbie pulled me back every time.
With 3 laps to go, a $150 gambler’s prime was announced. Debbie and Lauren both attacked and started to pull away. I chased, but the combination of fatigue and their ability to work/rest together was more than I could match. By the time we rounded the 4th corner, I knew they were gone, so I pulled off & tried to sit up. I wasn’t surprised when noone wanted to take over the chase or let me pull through. Woohoo!
So, what do you do with 2 laps to go when the rest of the pack wants to hang you out to dry? Attack like Hell!!! I caught my breath for a second then went for it. The effort reminded me of the Kilo TT from Edgar Soto- my eyes crossed and my vision blurred, and, as I rounded turn 2, I looked back, and had a workable gap. I put my head down and did my best to ignore the screaming pain in my legs. Luckily, my teammate Leigh Farabaugh ran enough interference for me in the pack to let me stay away for 3rd place. Good thing, too, because the earlier chases would have meant certain death if I’d tried to sprint against the group!
Afterwards, we gathered at the podium for some photos. Oh yeah- I forgot to mention, Floyd Landis was there, and I (politely) insisted that he be our podium boy… we got to kiss him on the cheek & all. It was pretty fun. Notice in the first photo at Debbie Milne blushing…
Hopefully I’ll be able to hunt down a few photos that other folks took during the race. Usually Ryan takes some, but he was warming up for the p/1/2/3 mens race that started right after mine.
And with that, the road season is officially over. It was fun, but I’m ready to relax and go play in the mud for a while.