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Fitchburg-Longsjo Day 4
Posted on 7/11/2008 9:05:00 PM

Only 4 days, but a long race.

This is the first stage race for me since last year. I had forgotten how much of a toll it takes on you. There is a lot of racing but there is also a lot of down time and it's important to not only to have fun racing your bike but to have fun when your not racing your bike. Otherwise, it makes for a long stage-race.


Only 4 days, but a long race.

This is the first stage race for me since last year. I had forgotten how much of a toll it takes on you. There is a lot of racing but there is also a lot of down time and it's important to not only to have fun racing your bike but to have fun when your not racing your bike. Otherwise, it makes for a long stage-race.

I felt a cold coming down on Saturday, and as I write this a week later, I can confirm a pretty nasty head cold which lasted all week. It could have been from the downpour on the first days time trial, The 8 hours of travel on Wed., lack of sleep on plastic mattresses, or sharing plenty of doorknobs and handrails with 100+ other races who are going through the same things you are.

The Crit was the last day. It was 50 miles around downtown Fitchburg. I like the course, but after the first three days I had I wasn't really looking foward to it. The roads were pretty wide so you could get to the front, but with the amount of attacks and with Colovita ever-present on the front, it took a lot of energy to get there. I surfed the middle of the pack for a while. I heard the annoncer calling out John Page and Rockville-Harley Davidson so I made my way to the front to see if I could get a few laps for myself. The easiest places to move up were on the inside line of the home strech, which always had wind and was uphill, or the outside line of the downhill, which was easiest done by following a rider to the outside just before the slowdown swarm. About halfway through the race, I went to the front following Ryan Dewald. Just before I got there I watched Russ take a flyer. He must have been thinking the same thing. The guy behind Russ in GC was right in front of me and he took of after him...so I followed. The three of us never got more than 20 seconds but on the next lap they called out a $170 prime. I really wanted that prime. On the backstretch Russ got back on the front and as he did I filled in behind him. The other rider just sat on my wheel. That was my mistake. Russ could only go so fast on the run up to the line and it was hard to come off his wheel at such a slow speed and hold off the guy behind. I at least made him throw the bike for it. I lost the sprint. I was so dissappointed. I sat up, waited for Russ and we were caught a lap and a half later.

Now, a bit of advice in a situation like that, just let your teamate ride away. Make the other rider close it down. Sounds simple now but when your racing in a break you don't think as quickly. You just learn by experience. If the rider doesn't close it down, Russ takes the prime. If the rider does close it down, at least your on his wheel, with better odds of taking the prime yourself.

Right then I knew things were not going to go my way, regardless of fate or my own fault. With 5 laps to go, I tumbled over a crash at the 180 degree turnaround, at the top of the course. It wasn't a fast spill but it sure made an impact. 5 to go happened to be the cutoff for free laps so we were put back in. I cruised the back of the pack nursing a sore hip pointer and just rolled across the line with the end of the field.

Didn't stick around long enough to really talk to anyone. I rode back to the car and washed myself off. Sean Barrie was hoping to talk one of the college employees to let him into one of the suites so he could take a shower, but settled for a bathroom sink instead. 20 minutes after the race we were on the road...with Fitchburg in the rearview.

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