Men of Steel Parkview Cycling Festival - Ft. Wayne, IN (click here for official results)
So I hit this crit up for both the 3/4 and 4/5 races (back to back, 2 and 3pm starts). The course was nice, as it ran around a new minor league ballpark in Ft. Wayne and most of the roads were in really nice conditions. Six corners, 0.7 mile loop, with one good sequence of R/L/R turns slightly downhill that made things string out some.
The 3/4 was first... I started at the back and due to the short and technical nature of the course, it was difficult to pass more than 4-5 guys per lap. So in a field of 40-some, it took a while to move from the back to the front. To help matters, I opted for one water bottle cage Saturday, and it broke 9 minutes into the race... just fell off my bike, and my water was gone for the rest of the race. While it was raining south, it was sunny and hot in Ft. Wayne. The loose water hazard lost me everything I had gained in the first quarter of the race. So I resumed my work up the field, got to the front with 3 laps to go. I didn't want to lead out the sprint, so I moved back to 5th or 6th wheel and was promptly dropped further by two sketchy moves from fellow racers that prompted one near-wreck. I found myself in 25-30 out of turn 4 on the last lap, but a crash from the guy in 5th or 6th took down or stopped nearly 1/3rd of the field. I missed it, got around some guys in the sprint, and took 14th (payout!).
With my 10-15 minutes between races, I hustled to my car, drank as much as I could, poured a full water bottle down my helmet, and got back to the S/F line so I could start on the front of the 4/5 race.
I tried to sit between 1st and 10th for the whole 4/5 race. Got punked at the line by some guy on the second preme sprint. Chased down a few breaks that Nebo Ridge shot off the front. Near the end of the race, it was my objective to hold the wheel of one of my IU teammates (Adam) the whole way out... he's a good sprinter and was sitting second wheel, so I liked my chances there. And hey, if we went 1-2, that'd be a satisfactory result. All was good until the last lap in the middle of the R/L/R turn sequence... some guy came down on top of me and physically pushed me off Adam's wheel. Not too thrilled about that, but it's better to lose the wheel than to crash. Shortly after, Adam took off coming out of a turn and opened a gap no one else could close. I salvaged things to finish 6th overall (payout!) On the day, I earned back my entry fee and then some... I can't complain. And hopefully through all of this I represented Christ well with some good sportsmanship and fair racing (I feel I did... hopefully my peers would agree).
Kokomo 40 K Time Trial - Sunday
It was an early morning Sunday... I had effectively rehydrated myself after the water-less debacle from Saturday, but my legs just didn't show up. I dropped my chain on the start by pedaling backwards to set my feet. My clip-on aero bars came loose. The number on my frame started to come off and create a mini-parachute. A comedy of errors and fatigue resulted in my worst competitive TT ever (1:04:51, 22.8mph average). Bad day... but with a good Saturday, I can't complain too much. And I got to talk to a few guys who are more TT-specific about IC3, one of whom was interested in joining up, perhaps.