Two days ago in the afternoon I found myself falling asleep at my desk about 2 hours before leaving work. I'm not sure why I felt so tired but that was the case, and I was wondering if I should even bother riding up to UBC for the weekly criterium.
Once I got on my bike to ride home and got soem food in me I began to feel a little more lively and decided that I would in fact be able to stay awake on my bike during the race. After Martin called informing me that his rear hub was falling apart and he would be by shortlt to fix it, Sizzle stopped by ready to rock.
We headed up a little on the late side but nonetheless got Sizzle to the line with a few minutes to spare. I hadn't heard from Mart yet and was wondering where he was when I saw him running to the registration table just as the Men's Cat.5 race pulled onto the road. He got sorted and when the pack came around he jumped into the fray and chased back on.
The laps ticked by with the boys in good position and as the last lap bell went, Mart and Sizzle were jumping off the front on the last part of the climb. I'm not sure how it shook out on the rest of that lap but the outcome was that Sizzle thought there was another lap left when everyone else was sprinting for the line! What the?! No big deal...I did the opposite last year and jumped thinking there was one lap to go when there were two, totally fried myself and then realized I had another lap to ride still.
Anyways, the Cat.4 race was next and off we went after listening to the Cat.3's get chastised for letting us catch them the two previous weeks...har har har. It didn't happen again so I guess they were a touch ashamed of themselves.
The first half of the race was pretty uneventful with Markezzy and I each taking some pulls and then the preme bell went. The sprinters went for it and the result was two small groups of guys off teh front that the pack didn't seem interested in doing anything about. After another lap and realizing that we weren't chasing them down, ever the opportunist I jumped off the front and bridged up to the first group. We slugged our way up to teh second group and then we were together. I think there were about 6 or 7 of us and we formed a loose paceline and started working together to increase our advantage on the main field.
We rode that way for a few more laps, and it turned out that my pull came through at the base of the climb. Not wanting to get caught, I tried to keep the revs up the whole way up the climb and by the time I went to swing off at the top I realized that the group had fractured behind me with one fellow dangling about 20 ft off my wheel.
After hearing him yelp something about waiting for the others to work together, I countered with a much better idea; he and I should definitiely try to win the race on our own! Great idea! I turned back to business, stoked the fire and fired down the downhill looking back occasionally to check on my hesitant friend's progress onto my wheel. After coming around the bottom of the course and starting the climb again he was with me and I turned and asked how he felt...he assured me he was good so I sat back down and again tried to turn up the heat up the climb thinking we could now make our move and put some serious time into the chase group.
Unfortunately as I swung off the front at the top after hitting 3 laps to go, I again discovered that my buddy had fallen off my wheel. I realized at that point that my comrade wasn't feeling quite as good as he thought, so I made the decision to go on the hunt for solo victory!
Resting slightly on the downhill and then digging deep on the climb saw me slowly build a gap on the chasers from roughly 30 m with 2 laps to go, to about 50 m with 1 lap to go. Hitting the downhill section on the last lap I realized that this might actually work, so I gave it everything as I hit the flat bottom. With my calves pinging with cramp, I rolled across the line grinning and blew a kiss to my lovely wife, satisfied with a perfect race from my own limited experience.