Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ronde Van Palouse

Last weekend included a couple of long, hard races.  One is reasonably well known, called Paris-Roubaix.  It no longer starts in Paris, as the name suggests, but it's still a nice little race.  There is, however, a lot of coverage on that race already, so if you want the details, use the googlinator and discover who Nicki Terpstra is and how Fabian Cancellara continues to build his reputation as "The" hard man of the classics.

A bit closer to home was a race known as Ronde Van Palouse.  Like the european classics, this one features some hills, some wind, some dirt and some very hard racing.  Here is a brief recap from Brad, one of the stalwarts of the team:

Jed, Richie and I  represented RCR in the Cat 3s. We were very happy to be grouped with the 1/2s since they always chill the first half of the race--yeah right!

Bike racing - It's glamorous!
The race's first 10 miles saw some folks try to get away, but the field caught all attacks in short order.  At some point prior to the gravel a couple guys got away and the group decided to get them back at a pace too fast for me!  Holy shit it was only 15 miles into a 65 mile race and I am dropped--I thought, "why am I out here racing with these dudes?"  Richie was the next to go, but I bridged up and we start picking folks off and end up in a pack of about 15 following the gravel section.  Jed was still up with the lead group!

BTW, portions of the gravel were crazy loose.  It felt like you were just skimming across a lake on trick skis.
Anyway, we worked together and continued to pick up riders.  In the gravel on the final lap we caught Jed who had given one hell of an effort, but he was blown and could not stay with us.  We came off the gravel in group of about 10.  I told Richie I'd go with 1k so he could grab Nigel's wheel.  As it turned out I went for only about 10 cranks of the pedals and then I watched most of the field roll by!  Richie hung on to finish 3rd in the group behind Andy Anderson and Nigel.  We assumed we were racing for 5th, but only one guy was still ahead of us.

Overall, like any race it hurt!  Thank goodness there was a beer waiting for me after the finish.

1 comment: