First the good news: we won Athens! Karl got away about halfway through the race in a move that started as three then ballooned. The conditions were completely epic. That word gets used a lot, but this time it's deserved. There were tornado warnings throughout the area, and weather even changed our strategy: we decided to race hard from the gun and watch the lap board, thinking the storm might pick up and the race would be shortened. There was pouring rain, strong gusting winds, and lightning, though most distracting, still lots of summer dresses and running shorts.
No results yet, but the rest of us finished safely in the front group of about 30. We all stayed up, though with about ten to go a guy crashed in front of me and I had to lock it up into the fencing. There was also a deep manhole with sharp edges on dark back straight that people kept falling into. It was pretty spectacular since the exploding tires/wheels gave off big flashes whenever someone ate it. I think we were the only team have everyone stay upright and finish all riders in the front group. Honestly, most of what we talked about after the race was how great our tires were in the wet. None of us slipped even once, and we could all see riders with bad tires or too much pressure consistently opening gaps or crashing. Too bad for them. Maxxis Cormet, 90psi, for anyone who fancies winning bike races.
My night was so so. It took about half the race to start feeling snappy, and by then the move was gone. It was a race that overwhelmed the senses from beginning to end, and the first hour I was a bit wide eyed and feeling like the race was simply "happening to me." Some of that is because of the bad news: I found out a few hours before the race that we're probably going to have to put down my dog before I get home. I got her when I was in college, we've seen each other through a lot, and been good buddies since. She doesn't really like people, so I tried to channel that during the race and do her the honor of effing some people up, though it might take a few more days to turn into positive energy.
Today we have a short drive to another 80min crit in Roswell, GA. The weather is back to upper 70s and sunny, though we'll still probably toe the line with wet shoes. We got to bed last night at 2:30am and this morning I couldn't sleep past 7... I'm hoping for a good nap later. I've also taken to listening to episodes of This American Life during the drives to take my mind off the racing--a habit I picked up during some long solo rides this winter. Yesterday I listened to this one; the second act is a pretty incredible story and a good use of thirty minutes.