Saturday, July 5, 2008

OK, you wanna know about Fitchburg 2008?

I kind of feel bad about not writing much about my races, mostly because I get really conscious of "tooting the horn", if you know what I mean. Anyway, since I came away in one piece and can live to tell about it another day, I thought I would give some nuggets of (joy)...

Just as a background- The masters field was somewhat smaller than usual, for reasons I cannot explain- Masters Nationals are at the same time, but many big guns who didn't come here were not on the rosters at Nationals either. In any case, as a little "throw the salt on the wound" tactic, just at the last minute, Mark / Frank McCormack, Tobi Shultze, Troy Kimball, AND Roger Aspholm sign up at the pre-reg deadline. For IBC, we had Brian, Jody, John Fennel, and me.

TT-I love listening to the parking lot/warm up/starting line/portapotty chatter at epic races. This is one where it's just part of the club to complain about the course. Everyone has something to gripe about, and I always answer like Letterman would, which is "just send another angry letter from Lou Rawls". I suppose people don't like the climbing, or the poor road surface, or the rain. Not ever having even seen the course before, I didn't know what to expect, so I just brought the road bike (Sorry TT bike-you still get to be the weekly tempo workout bike for now).

I'm glad I did- Eddy B always says that if there are hills, go light- no argument. I think I would have suffered like mad on the TT bike, especially since I only have 52 tooth chainring on the front. BTW- that reminds me- Eddy B also likes to remind people that in a course like this, you CAN switch bikes mid-race...yes- you can have someone standing by at the top of the climb and you can just hop off a la cyclocross and hop on the TT bike for the rest of it. I don't know if anyone at Fitchburg did it, but that would have been cool to watch. Anyway, I finished in the middle of the pack, which is better than usual for me- In the past, I would fall about 2/3 down the list, so this was improvement.

RR- Rain. The previous night's news did not predict this, and I came in a t-shirt/shorts. I was impressed with the fact that 99% of the rest of the racers had full winter gear- Lordy! It's July, for crying out loud! Are you all that anal when you travel? I kept thinking, "You know, it really can't rain THAT hard for too long". And like that, the bulk of the rain was over by our start time. When I thought about it, that was great- All my previous Fitchburg RR's entailed some level of a Bataan Death March through 90 degree heat. John decided he didn't want a feed, because he wasn't planning on staying with the field for too long. I wonder if carrying three bottles had anything to do with that...As such, this race seemed just so short to me-No breaks, and because of the cooler temp, I was able to take each climb up Princeton with relative ease. For every descent, I think I was DFL, because I am just that much of a chicken (although it's a mile long straight descent, it curves to the left somewhat in the middle, and when the road is wet, at 50+ mph, I experienced some extreme peristalsis each time). SO- that meant that the race would be determined on the final ascent up the access road-Sure enough, the big guns were up at the front, and they took off- I was about 30th going into the climb, and just kept passing guys, and almost catching a group of 7-8 right at the end- POOPY! Had I placed myself further up, I think I could have attained a top 10 placing. In the end, I got 18th, moving me up to 27th overall. Jody and Brian stuck it out until the last ascent to Princeton, where they got split, but made it up handily. As expected, it was Aspholm, McCormack, and Tom Francis (good for him!) on the podium.

Circuit race-OK- I had no aspirations to flash my 27th to first in a circuit race which is blazingly fast with a KOM point sprint on every other lap- BUT-the leaders are all watching each other- I was hoping for what I call the anonymous getaway-grab a group of strong non-contenders with me in a break, and hope for the best. In fact, in the first lap, I found Matt Kressy and told him my plan. With 3 to go, (not a sprint lap), I peeled off the front, and at the top of the climb, I found Matt with me...but NO ONE ELSE! Oh God, I thought- this will be painful-we made it up to the next climb with a 10 second gap, and argued with each other that the other should take the points (I let Matt take it, he pulled more!), and then Troy Kimball caught us, and SAT UP! Well that was it, so it turned out to be a field finish- I have no idea where I finished, but it was in the middle. It was one of those races where at the end of the climb, you look back to see that the pack has shrunken another 10 guys-I don't know how many finished in the end...

Has anyone noticed that I'm writing this BEFORE the crit? That's because I'm doing Wells Ave. tomorrow! That's right- Explain to me why I should drive another hour there and back to do a roller-derby crashfest of a course so that I can preserve my 27th GC place? Thank you. In the end, although I wasn't a contender overall, I performed better than any other Fitchburg of past, so I got that going for me. Also, I got to meet Lizette from the women's 3 squad, que estaba bueno, por que ahora tengo una otra personna quien puedo hablar en espanol. Que suerte!

Cheers- Marvin

1 comment:

Lizi said...

A mi tambien me dio mucho gusto conocerte. I look forward to meeting the rest of the team : )