That is the way to race the Blair Cup crit. NOT!
Thursday night was Blair Cup number 3 and one of the hardest races to date for me. This one ranked right up there with the Lees McCrea Road race.
The race started really hard. I was in a bad position on the line and it just went down hill from there. We were gunning from the beginning because some guys decided to make a break and everybody went crazy. So, the people on the front chased really hard while I dangled on the back of the main field, knowing better than to be back there I tried to get in the middle on every lap- didn't happen. Anyway, lots of suffering, chasing, breaks, and catching of breaks.
The race is the standard 4/5 length of 35 minutes plus 3 laps. With about 7 or so laps to go the group absorbed a break right on the hill of the course. I saw that I had a clear line through the group and everybody was slowing down. I was already out of the saddle to keep up with the group and figured what the heck I'll give it a go. So, I stayed standing hit it a little harder and got a gap on the field.
I was out all alone for two laps. It was cool to come around on a lap by myself and hear the announcer say my name. I was dying by the second lap by myself. Did I mention it was 95 degrees? I thought I was going to hurl. Then going into turn 4 and the hill on the course I looked back to see Jonathon Pait out of his saddle breaking from the field and bridging up to me. I smiled and sat up a little. As Pait came up beside me we acknowledge each other with a nod and a smile Pait was having too much fun standing up and going fast so I just sat up and waved him on. Looking back I should have gotten on with him we probably could have done something. I went back to the field and sat in until we pulled Pait back. After about a lap of that I caught Pait and simply said, "Hurts doesn't it?" I was reffering to the pain of the attack. We kind of rode together just fast enough to stay on the lead lap.
After a month of good spirited trash talk the better man won in my opinion. According to the results Pait placed 20th dead last of the people on the Lead lap. I got a DNF, which I will protest, because i was on the other side of Pait and they didn't see me. (we finished side by side) But Pait was kind enough to let me sit on his wheel for the last two laps and he was the stronger man Thursday night.
I learned a lot about racing Thursday night. I learned that its better to do something than nothing. That attacks hurt really bad and are best saved for closer to the end or earlier in the race. I learned that opportunities present themselves and taking advantage of them is easy, committing to them is something totally different. And that racing my bike is really fun.