First off, I need to find directions before I head to the races. Driving to races sans navigator is not a good thing. Doubly so when you have to deal with New Jersey morning traffic and subsequent Allentown road closures. To find my way I just drove the wrong way up one way streets in Allentown and through red lights and what not until I found a place to park. And then I got a parking ticket.
So, the race was a race. A race in that a bunch of my teammates and friends showed up to play bike game. Romone Benitez won the prize for "FAstest Fred" before the show even started. Bib shorts over the jersey? Holy shit dude. I've seen some retarded stuff in bike races, but a Cat 1-2 race in Allentown during the Triple Crown?!!!! C'mon!
This fashion blunder made him an easy target to cover through out the race. Being that I made a super last second arrival- to the point that Brady Gibney (my fast teammate who is only half a bike racer after a Somerville crash) had to pin my number on at the registration table. I didn't pedal one stroke before the start of the race. But, I started in the second row and threw myself in the top 10 for the entire day. After being pinched at Somerville and learning (trying to learn, really) from crits this year, I vowed to stay in the top section of the race and cover dangerous moves. Somehow my radar got jammed (by Liz Hatch walking around maybe?) and I missed the break. Like, THE break. Two guys put 20 seconds into us and they held it for 15 laps. Dave Fuentes and a Van Dessel rider. Well, if that wasn't just simply disappointing.
With 5 to go Brady rolls up next to me as the fighting starts to get tough. He asks how I'm doing. I complain about the slow speed. (It was really slow. We averaged 25mph in the crit. Stupid slow). That was the conversation. I figured that I stood a better chance at getting away then sticking around for a field sprint. With 3 to go I went with Ramone and Matt johnson (super fast man from Empire who beat Levi back in the day). Those two horses pulled so hard that I had to sit on them on the back stretch to recover, but through the start finish I fucking poured everything I had into the pedals and reduced the gap to the break to 12 seconds with the two guys in tow. We hit the back stretch and I looked over my shoulder and the field is there. Maybe 5 seconds back, but there. Not far enough to keep killing it. A few tried to bridge, but as Tim Johnson says, "Theres always a welder" and we came back together.
The final sprint was not set up with a lot of speed. We came through the last two corners and PA Lightening and some others were on the front. Jason Snow took the field sprint because he's a bad ass who is probably the best bike racer in the field. I wish he would share some tips with me.
Another race another entry fee.
After the race there was the Pro race. It was on TV. It was sweet. Also, Liz Hatch in person is stunningly beautiful. Even after a bike race. No wonder she was in Maxim. Joe Whitman and I watched the show at the Allentown Pub, which was surprisingly empty for being an air conditioned place with awesome beer and the race on the two plasma TVs.
If you want to see the race results and the final, click here.