It was a late week decision to join six other Cat 3 teammates and race the Aaron Shafer RR/TT yesterday. I raced this race two years ago and it is an excellent, challenging course. I wasn’t sure how I would be doing, but it turned out pretty okay.
The 70 mile track is two loop course that is pretty much consistently rolling and this year, featured a nice headwind on the flatter parts. About half way through the first lap, two Hub Endurance riders were off together, so I jumped off the front of the field and made up about half the distance (I heard 1 minute up, 45 seconds back), but wasn’t really closing down the gap.. After the decent, I glanced back to see the field about 20 seconds back, so I sat up and rejoined to rest and then help some with the chase. We did bring it back and the attacks ensued for the next part of the race. By the second time up the longer grade we had Scott off the front solo but the wind took its toll and it was brought back within the last 5-7 miles of the race. Somewhere in there, two riders (a Krystal and a Hub) jumped off and stayed clear. I was pretty spent by that point and we were not successful at bringing it back leaving us (Marx-Bensdorf) to take 3rd and 4th in the race. I was too far back in the field and advanced up in the last 1k to just get in the money with a 10th place finish.
After the race, I was paying the price for the hard race, slowly rehydrating and finding a half-way decent something to eat in the small town of Sparta. Most of that time was spent wondering how I would get down in my TT position since my back was pretty well jacked up from the road race. Some stretching and some on-bike easing into it allowed me to get aero on the maiden-race of the Trek Speed Concept. The TT pretty much went horribly with my legs never really allowing me get up the hills and netting a really, really horrible time.
Overall, our team had a lot of good results in the P1/2, womens, and Cat 3 races. Enough to take home the team competition lamp for the day. Not a bad day at all.
After the race, a few of us made the long drive back to Memphis. A long day indeed.
I am not sure what the next few month will hold w.r.t. racing. My guess it that it will be pretty limited. I might come out of the woodwork in August. In the meantime, I might be able to squeeze in another road race, a few local crits, and hopefully head to Mountain View for my 3rd attempt at Syllamo’s Revenge.