I worked in another road race this season, formally known as the Mead County Road Race, the Clasica de Rio Grande would prove to be a overheated sufferfest.
I was excited to race with the team and watch these new stars crush it. In coming back from a year or two off from injuries, I know I’m not quite where I used to be and I am looking forward to helping other out. We 4 riders in the race and in the first 10 miles had 2 off the front in the break. I was pretty surprised the break stuck for a 70 mile race that early. I was also impressed that they were able to get off the front in a slight downhill tailwind part of the course. That takes some doing and some focus. I went the front and tried to control the group for a few miles while the break was forming the gap, using the classic strategy of fast enough to feel like were moving, but not so fast that we don’t lose ground to the break.
After that I settled into a rhythm for most of the first 40 miles. I was fighting some calf cramps and did a poor job of hydrating in 95 degree weather. Thank goodness they had neutral feed or I might still be out there decaying in the ditch. We hit the start of the 3rd lap and pushed through a fairly easy dirt section to the race and it became my demise. I hit some major ruts as I was turning onto the road in the group (now down to 15 folks) and my chain dropped. I popped it back on and chased, but no luck. I ended up riding along for the next 30 or so miles and finished 27th on the day. Totally wiped out. I have never been good in the heat and it was no different this day.
One of our riders in the break flatted with 15 miles to go and the other ended up 9th. He is a new upgrade this year, so props to Pier for being aggressive and a top 10.
The only positive is that I decided my S3 frame was just too flexy for this kinda racing and decided to go back to the drawing board for my personal road bike. Think integrated headset, tapered fork, huge steel tubes, compact frame…