We all rode hard.....
It was an L shape course.
I'm not there yet, but I'm glad my teammates, JMS, FS, the infamous NF and Professor AR.......were having a good ride. They all finished safe and sound, getting in some great crit training with the pros and watching each others backs.
I for the most part felt like a rat in a hamster wheel engaged in a perpetual dash from the start to finish. Each lap was a barbarically obstinate display of wasted energy. My fragile moral was teetering on the void. If I dared to focus on the entire 90 minute task that lay in front of me I might run off into the bushes and cry like a feeble child. My sole purpose it seemed was to complete a lap and do it again as fast as I could without a moment of respite in between. I guess that's the way it should be......surviving the moment and embracing it all at once.
The peloton was alive and I focused on its movements. I visualized it as one giant organism allowing my peripheral senses to guide me into magical lanes that opened at just the right moment. If my senses failed me, I would most likely end up wrapped around the metal dividers, stuck in the gutter, or shredded by the mob of rabid riders behind me and I didn't want to ruing another team kit.
At some point near the end of my obstinate journey I found the path....I saw the light and I went for it...I shot in front of leaders and then rocketed away from them as if they carried the plague. Nirvana, I told myself, lay just around the next corner and my life now finally had meaning. And then, my legs just failed. 150 yards in front of a enraged peloton I cratered like liquid elephant dung with lead sinkers as balast. Then a rider bridged up and passed me..I suffered trying to grab his wheel....and then I suffered even more as I failed to grab his wheel. Two more riders bridged up and past me they went. Then In a full sprint of whatever worthless strength I could summon I threw in a last ditch effort to catch back on to this select group...Head down, standing and stomping on the pedals, I smacked into a glued on raised reflector in the middle of the road and just about ate asphalt in front of the announcer on the finishing straight. I racked my ribs in the process. The ribs that were ailing from when I broke them a few weeks ago......I proceeded to die on my bike suffering for two more laps. Then without hesitation I threw in the towel and resigned myself to the first aid tent.
My lungs were not punctured. So it was just pain. I would live.
I hope to be healthy soon.
The guys all finished......and finished well.
Jesse Miller Smith had an outstanding race. Finishing 36 in the GC not bad considering this is a pro race, and we are a first year amateur team. Good job team.
Frank Spiteri a respectable 47th
Art Rand 72nd
Nate Freed 99th the Lanterne Rouge
Me DNF......I was in it for fitness.
Nate at the wheel.