Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tour de Leelanau 2007

Getting ready for the event and I see all kinds of pro teams I have only heard about before. I'm started to wonder if it's just silly of me to start. I'm starting to think this race is kind of a big deal. The bike feels a little strange for a mile or so, it's only my 3rd time on a road bike since last year's Tour de Leelanau. Wow, just rolling out of town and things are already scary fast and furious. A multi rider crash right in front of me at mile one and I'm wondering, what have I gotten myself into. The first quarter of the race was pretty painful. I was on the rivet most of the time and I was concerned that I could survive to the end. Finally with a strong group of about 20 guys up the road by mile 35 things started to settle down a little. Whew! So now we are in what I figure is the main field, maybe 50 guys. That group rolls along for the next 20 miles trying to keep the gap to the break manageable. At mile 55 on the Hlavka road KOM a little gap formed in the middle of the field. I wasn't too worried cause all the KOMs seem to create little gaps and we all seem to come back together on the other side, but unfortunately not this time. We loose another 15 guys. That group is in site for quite a while but everyone is getting tired and motivation to work is low so looks like this bunch may be racing for about 35th place, AKA nothing. The rest of the way was a bit like a 110 mile, fairly hard, training ride, with feed zones, support crews, a rolling enclosure, and cheering fans all along the way. Near the end I started asking the other guys if they were gona race to the line when we got there. I wanted to, but I didn't want to look like a dork if everyone else was just going to soft pedal in. I didn't get a clear indication from anyone that they want to contest 35th position.. Oh well, I was gona go hard at the end anyway. Approaching the last turn I was about 3rd wheel trying to keep an eye out over my shoulder for anyone making a jump. I learned on my first TDL that there's not a lot of position changes after that turn so I wanted to be first right there. Made my jump into the turn and went for it. Looked back and was happy to see the other guys wrestling their bikes up the hill. Dang, suddenly that short little hill seemed a lot longer than I remember and my legs were getting angry with me, but I stayed on the gas and rolled across best of our group in front of a huge crowd of people that lined the finish chute area. I'm so glad I was allowed the opportunity to race. Turned out to be another awesome Tour de Leelanau.

All set to rock and roll....

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