Thursday, August 14, 2008

Its not about the finish line

The final Heat of the Summer training series occurred last night at the Sportsplex in Virginia Beach. Forty-one racers lined up with storms threatening, wind blowing (not too bad) and temps very un-summer like (70s). I did not know what I had in my legs and looked, just by the line up, that it was going to be a very fast race.

On lap number 2 I realized my legs were feeling good. I tried to stay at the front and react to attacks or chase them down as needed. My prediction of a fast race was true. It was a shorter race then usual so I think that played into the speed a little as well. Here were the results:

1. Bill Collins Virginia Beach Velo
2. Marc Greco Tripower
3. Phil Johnson LeBlue
4. Jon Nisbet Virginia Beach Wheelmen
5. Rob Dinterman LeBlue
6. Frank Palmieri UT Cycling
7. Tim Starkey Tripower
8. Kevin Horvath Tripower
9. Tom Fournier Coastal Racing
10. Jerry Hadley Tripower
11. Steve Simet JRVS
12. John Gray Virginia Beach Wheelmen
13. Jeff Parker Virginia Beach Velo
14. Chad Holm Tripower
15. Elliot Craddock Siegler
16. Brenna Santoro Tripower
17. Dan Netzer East Coast Bicycles/VBV
18. Jimmy Deaton Coastal Racing
19. Wick Smith East Coast Bicycles/VBV

You don't even see my name on it, do you? I think I was probably in 20th place. I remember Wick Nasty passing me on the final stretch, I just don't remember if anyone else passed me after him. So how could I be so thrilled with my performance and didn't even make the results sheet?

Well its not about the about the finish line. In that race I put myself on the line many times. I pushed myself to the point that if a good counter attack occurred I could have been dropped. But I didn't get dropped. I feel like my fitness is the best that it has been and my abilities as a racer are the highest they have ever been. I don't seem to have the ability to find the finish line faster than everyone else. Luckily for me I have teammates that can. So if my job is to keep the race together, than I am thrilled with that task.

This year I really worked on two specific areas. One was power riding. I wanted to be able to TT better, break away or do long chases better. I worked on my power and I am now able to spin a bigger gear and grind away when I need to. Second area was riding at the front of the pack. I think these weekday races really helped me accomplish that goal. It seemed like something clicked one day and suddenly I felt comfortable at the front.

So I may not find the finish line the fastest. But I am still thrilled with my performance this year. Next year my goal will be to learn to sprint.

On a side note, the post race hang out was a blast. Thanks to everyone who raced, hung out and had a great time all season. One more weekend left for me and then its time to think about cross. Although I am planning on racing Fort Lee.
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