When I started the number pinning 1.5 numbers behind Ryan, caught, passed, and finished before he did I knew that there would be some magic happening. And by magic, I mean the free Qdoba that was served post TT. And by free I mean that it was part of our $200 entry fee for the TTT alone. And by part of the entry fee I mean that probably most of that entry fee went to Qdoba, because tts aren't the most expensive race in the world to put on. But I stuck it to the man when I took at least 4 dollars worth of Guacamole and THREE cookies.
|Unrelenting TTT course|
|TTT Podium. Duke, WWU, Mesa St, Mars Hill, MIT|
Finally it was crit time.
The course was long, with a uphill finish drag, and a shorter uphill followed by a long descent 600 meters from the line. The descent into the last corner made the finish hard to read. Fast forward an hour into the race. 3 guys up the road by 20 seconds. 7 laps to go. The three guys up the road were from Mesa St, Mars Hill, and Cumberland. The 3 biggest teams in the race. Steve got on the front and stayed there until he single handily caught the break with 2 to go. That is almost 5 miles straight on the front to chase back the breakaway.
Meanwhile, I was fighting to hold my position on the wheel of the guy who won last year. In previous Nationals, the bumping was minimum. By that, I mean I just had to shoulder check someone hard once and they would go away. Not the case this year. The last 10 minutes of the race were more physical then the lines at free slurpee day at 7-11. Are those actually physical? Anyways, I was fighting off a constant barrage of people the last 10 minutes of the race. I did not want to budge. Things went temporarily to shit on the last lap in the second to last corner. The pack slowed, anticipating the second to last hill, and I was chopped HARD on the inside. I went from 5th wheel to 20th wheel in an instant. I shot a gap and sprinted up the gutter up the hill to regain my position and worked my way back near the wheel I wanted to be on.
Then I promptly got a pedal in my front wheel. I heard a horrible crunch that I thought for a quarter second was my front wheel on its way to the garbage can. That 1/4 second of hesitation lost me a spot or two and as I dove into the corner I was prepared to either crash or sprint for the win. The spokes on COLE WHEELS are strong, because all this incident did was clip out a competitor. Which was my plan so I had one less guy to sprint. The guy who won shot a gap towards the barriers and I had to wait for a hole to open before I could work my way through on the left, passing everyone infront of me except the guy throwing his arms up.
I thought for sure my wheel was about to do this...
|Nice job kitting back up guys|
|Matching shoelaces to the kit. Pro|