Friday, 11 September 2009

Univest, day one

We just got back from the wet, windy, technical TTT here in PA. Things went okay. We had a horrible warmup since all the streets were a mess downtown and it was tough to keep warm in the cold weather. We spent some time riding around a parking garage, but it was a wash since we had to report to the start line 15min early for a bike check. We took the first lap fairly easy and kept all six guys. I felt fine and didn't feel like the roads were slick, but our biggest problem was keeping the gaps from opening up going through the turns. A lot of times you get gapped off in 6th position just because it's tough to see the line and judge speed coming in.

The second lap we started to take longer, harder pulls to pick up the pace. That's when it started to come apart a little, and by halfway through the lap we were down to three guys (myself, Phil, and Sam). Lang had a bizarre, Menchov-like crash, then Nick and Chris were gapped through a turn. It was tough to decide whether to wait for the dangling two before the headwind stretch. I felt good and ended up pulling the second half of the last lap, but we might have gone faster rolling the bottom stretch with more guys. We lost some more time on the final climb and finishing straight.

We rolled in at 17:01 and had the fastest ride for long enough to get interviewed a few times. But it was clear it wouldn't stick since we didn't even go as fast as we thought we could, the roads were drying out, and the fastest teams were yet to come. I haven't heard final results yet but by our calculations we finished somewhere between 8th and 10th. Not bad, it would have been nice to be top amateur team, or at least have the dry roads the later teams rode.

The forecast for tomorrow is warmer but still a chance of rain. I'm feeling good and I think we're all pretty psyched for the race. This is the final race of the year for a lot of guys, so expect all of us to GO. Our homestay is also STELLAR, we've had all our meals wonderfully prepared and all of us have beds. The promoters have also done a great job publicizing the race and also taking care of riders. We're now off to a teams dinner at a local restaurant so we'll have a great chance to size up, and stare down, our competition.

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