What can I say? This turned out to be the best result I have had to date in a large Pro field. I have raced this race four times now, the other three not so good times before, except for Chris getting third that year. I had always went fireball McFearson out of the gate and botch any attempt at a late move. Not this time. Something about this year has changed in me, patience has become more of a friend than before, and it has paid off.
The whole weekend started off really well. Stacie, Lindsey (Our niece) and I headed down to Anderson, SC for the Tour DeLaFrance criterium, from Swagger. This was going to be a big pro field as well, with $10,000 on the line, the start list grew all afternoon long. We got there early, since Jae Bowen was racing and I wanted to see how he would do. Jae and I are working with FasCatCoaching out of Colorado, and Rick Kattouf out of Greenville, FasCat takes care of the workouts, Rick is a guru with nutrition. Jae did well, he got away from the field for a while, but the field would not have it.
We started our race at 5:15, and it was warm, but not insane hot like it has been, so I was feeling good. Pre race nutrition was finished, and I was ready. The course was a four corner tight in some areas crit. The front stretch was fairly tight, since it rolled down mainstreet Anderson. I made a move, with Boyd and Joey Rosskopf, but that got nullified. So then I wanted to sit in and see how things panned out and make a late move. Things were going well, I was able to sit in, move up when I needed to and not use a lot of energy. With about eight laps to go, I take the line thru the first corner, and my chain goes crazy. I had hit one of the course monster manholes and it had bucked the bike, causing the chain to come off the front ring, and out of the rear derailler lower cage. I could not shift out of this one, I had to come to a complete stop to pull the chain back into the rear derailleur. I asked the official for a lap, but he said no dice, apparently this is not considered a mechanical, so my night was over. I was ticked, but I calmed down, and just took it for what it was.
I had met Chris, John, David and Nick to head down to Georgia, so I kissed my wife to make my way down.
We stayed with David's girlfriend's parents, which was nice. Quiet neighborhood, and her dad had a 427 Turbofire Vette, so I loved that. Next day we head out for an easy hour before driving on down to the hotel. What happens next has never happened before at this race....
Part II coming up next, stay tuned.