Big thanks to Yehudah and Aliza for coming down to support Yitzy and me.
Thanks to Mr. Raheb for making chimpin’ look easy as he coasted to a first place in the masters field.
And of course a thank you to all of my wonderful sponsors who make living the dream possible.
Going into the race, I had a very simple gameplan. Attack at the start of the horseshoe, where there was a strong headwind. As it emptied out into the back straight, a tailwind would pick me up and speed me along out of the field’s grasp.
Thank you to Skoop for that plan…it worked like a charm.
First lap, I gauged the other riders. Second lap, I went. I could be very off here, but I think that 4 other riders came with me. 1 Colavita rider, with whom I was in a break or two last week, Dan from Sunday’s break, an older gentleman and the race director. Yes, he was in our field. I know, I thought it was super cool too.
After my initial attack, where I crested 1050 watts to surge away, I tried to pull off and have Mr. Older Gentleman (MOG) pull through. I was met with a breath (I don’t know if he was acting, just pulling me back for a teammate, or whether it was genuine) from MOG, “Can’t pull..too…early. No…fitness.” So I put my head down and went.
Eventually, I did pull off, and MOG was gone. But Dan was there, the RD – Mark Brueche, and Colavita boy. Dan and Colavita boy were masters, so I was confident from the get-go that we would survive, seeing as how they had so much experience on me.
At some point, we dropped Mark (to hear him tell it, you’d think I was Fabian) and it was just the 3 of us. The bell rang as we crossed the finish line, indicating the upcoming lap would be a prime lap – a bonus lap.
I happened to be pulling as we approached the finish line – I was pulling quite a bit – when Dan contested the sprint. If you can call it that. In my head, I thought, “Dan, you silly, silly man, you’ll ruin us all! What are you thinking!?” But in real life, I dropped the hammer and accelerated away, seated, to take the prime. I don’t want to say easily, but I didn’t have to sprint. Let’s just say that.
As I rounded the corner after the finishing straight, I saw that a 5-6 wheel gap had opened up behind me because of the prime-contest. I shook my head and just screamed out to “GET ON MY WHEEL, LET’S GO!”
They caught up, and that was the last thing I remember clearly. The rest went something like this:
Pull. pull. pull. Pull off. Hide. Recover. Pull. pull. pull. pull. Pull off. Hide. Pull. Come on Dan, let’s go. Pull. pull. Pull off. No recovery yet, pull again. Pull. WOAH WHY IS THE GROUND RUSHING UP AT ME. OWWWWWWwwwwww.
I had successfully rolled my tire. The break came to a screeching halt as I tried to scramble off the road. Without any wind in my lungs, I breathed for them to go on without me as I lay my bike down next to me on the hill, spread out my arms and legs, and watched Gavi, Skoop & co. ride by in their A Race break.
As the B field came around, I heard someone (I later found out it was Mark) yell out, “HE’S DOWN! HE WAS THEIR MOTOR! WE’LL CATCH THEM NOW!” I smiled inwardly as I gasped for breath and waited for the nice man with the glasses and the First-Aid kit to come clean me up a little with the rubbing alcohol and swabs.
RJ was there first, with his hunting hat and boots. He gave me the rundown on the damage to the bike (scratched shifters, RD, and ripped tape. Nothing major, thanks God), rolled the tire back on and gave me some sick moral support. There aren’t enough praises for that kid.
Being airborn was cool. Winning socks while not actually finishing the race was cooler.
Dan, I owe you a pair of socks. Good pulling out there.
Now, off to the doctor to see if I broke my wing.