Wow how this race has grown in just 3 short years! Over 1000 people entered!!! Rick Plight must be doing something right, and I believe he is. I won this race 2 years ago and I thought the terrain suited me well, so after skipping last year, I thought I'd give it another run.
We woke up to morning temps in the teens. After training all winter in MI, I thought great! Everyone will be stunned by the cold temps and I'll feel right at home. My new RBS kit came equip'd with all the cold weather trim. No prob... Well needless to say, the cold temps didn't bother anyone. We rolled out nuetral with ol' Ward Wilson at the helm with the trusty KTM. Yes, he managed to get it started one more time for us. Once we hit the dirt, the pace quickly escalated, but it was manageable. We hung a right onto the pavement and I knew Sager Lake was coming up. I rolled up the right side of the road and took the holeshot into Sager Lake.
I immediately went into red, and after that, Graham and Anderson danced around me leaving me gasping for air. I thought, OK, we'll deal with the early attacks here, then it will all come back together... sure sure. But the pace didn't seem to let up. We hit the hills just after Sager Lake and I couldn't recover. The roads were dialed. They were almost like pavement. I probably could have rode a road bike. I had to let the front group go. Meanwhile, my seat rails managed to self destruct. My bike was spewing out pieces of titanium tubing all over the road on Sager Lake. Bahh!
I struggled for a bit and decided to wait for the next group. The nose of my saddle was about 1" too low and my back and knee's were starting to cramp. Double Bahh! I would hang with what I think was the 3rd group for a while. My legs felt terrible, every hill hurt, and I just didn't seem to have it. I decided to pull the plug going into the 2nd lap rather than risking another 35 miles without a seat. I think it was a good call.
I think this year was the year for the CX bike. Seemed like these guys were zipping back and forth with no problems. I found myself pedaling on the downhills to keep up with the guys on CX bikes coasting. My training has been going pretty good. Been getting in lots of miles, and I did a lot of cross training. Perhaps I'm just missing a little bit of intensity in my legs? Were the CX bikes that much faster? Was my seat issue a big deal? Was I tired from all the miles I've been putting in? Am I just getting too old? Am I missing something in my diet? Was I dehyrated? Did I tie my left shoe first? Did I forget my rabbits foot? It'll drive a cyclist crazy, but these are all questions I'll have to sort out in the coming weeks. The good thing is that it's still early and these early season races give you a chance to see what you missed in the off-season. I think I've got better races in me for sure.
Congrats to my fellow compratiots who finished on the podium. Next up is Paris Ancaster. Hopefully I'll have things a little more dialed in by then. Thanks for reading, and if you missed the Barry Roubaix, make sure its on your calendar next year!