Wednesday, June 18, 2008

LAMBRA District RR Championships

Last weekend, or the weekend before(?) was the LAMBRA District champs in Natchez Mississippi. Our race was at the perfect time of 1pm, so we got the chance and honor of starting with the hottest weather - sweeeet! We went in to get Dustin a win since the course really suited his explosive short hill climbing mad gangsta skillz. Our guys Brian Bradford, Daniel Lebeoueoeuoeuof and Jay Bookman went to the front according to the blueprints we skillfully detailed the weeks before and kept the pace high. Usually this wouldn't do much, but it was hot, and a fast painful course, and it did much in the ways of putting people in the pain cave. In weather like this, people like to go over a hill a little easier than normal, and recovery for twice as long. No such luck this time homeskillets. It was hard up the hills, and zero recovery time on the way down. A couple of the race favorites were drifting off the back and we spread some batman like tacks behind us on the fast downhill sections. It was a really sweet course, with a sweet 3 tiered climb followed by a covered fast downhill section with sweeping turns. We had 11 laps to do in the blazing heat and were saving Dustin for the finishing blow. Brian initially got off the front, and was bridged up to by some strong riders. This was really the only threatening break in the race, and upon seeing Brian drift back after out front for awhile I went to the front and drilled back the break. Jay came up to Dustin with 5-6 laps to go and told him one of his big competitors was suffering near the back so Dustin launched an attack, knowing it would be followed since he was a fav and hopefully would pop the suffering riders off the back. It worked, but not at first. I heard a guy say to another rider trying to bring him back "hey don't worry about him, it's only one guy" I almost said something like, "one man, with the power of 100 bison you mean?" or "you mean lance? lance armstrong?" we came aroudn the corner and Dustin was out of site. Panic ensued and people started ripping it at the front to bring him back. The suffering fav on the back popped off, objective#1: complete. When Dustin was caught it was Daniels turns. He went tearing off and we sat up and waiting for the attempts to bridge to ensue. Me and Dustin sat up front along the road, attempting to sort of block, but there's only so much 2 riders can do over a whole road. We got yelled at, bottles thrown at us, death threats, and a couple prison shank attempts, but we came out alive. We were wondering why a guy was yelling at us to get outta the way, when there were only 2 people at the front in his way. Maybe his wheel was locked in a straight position and he couldn't turn around anybody... that must be it.. Eventually he got around and bridged up to Daniel. That's it!? The race was over. I figured they'd stay way as there were only 2 teams, represented, but 2 strong teams, and our guy was a beast sprinter coming from a track background. We sat around and took it easy until we saw Daniel up ahead, but not the other guy.. What the crap?! I went to the front and jumped across to him to see what was up. Bloody cramps man. The heat was taking it's toll and anyone who dared not take at least 5 bottles each feedzone, was destined to cramp. Up ahead was the 3 tiered hill. Jay told me beforehand that near the end of the race, if we just road up th ehill at the same pace at the beginning that we'd probably ride away from everyone. So I did just that, and lo and behold, I had a quick gap. Pat Luke was the only rider with me and I said, "Let's ride let's ride GOOOOOOO?!" He countered with a, "dude, you think we can make it?, cause if we go, we have to go all out". "that's what i'm freakin doin ride now *pant pant* take a bloody pull *pant pant*!" While I was attempting to convince him to go with me since he was obviously strong enough, and trying to go hard at the same time, another rider bridged, and this seemingly lifted Pats motivation and we began drilling it. We caught the lone rider off the front and came around through the finish for 1 last time. In the feedzone, you take a left turn up a hill, then a u-turn up onto a dam where you can look down to the finishing straight and see how far of a gap you have.. Well by the end of the dam we had no site of the peleton so that meant we had around 3minutes.. I went off the front in a desperate suicide attempt to set up Dustin, but it was obvious we weren't getting caught, so the cat and mouse game ensued. I went to the front the started hammering.. by hammering i mean, shifting body back and forth but only soft pedaling about 100 watts. They stuck me on the front for a couple miles until they let me to the back with about 1.5miles to go.. mistake #1. I was now behind Patrick, who is the only sprinter known to ever come close to Bennie Flores the hulkinator monster sprinter.. So I knew i'd have to go early. There was a section about 1k from the finish that went through a gated road over some sketchy gravely pavement, and then there was a 4foot long gravel section that was as wide as the road. Throughout the race everyone slowed down in this section because of the bad quality of the road, but also it had a twisty nature to it. I saw my chance with 400m to go and blasted off the back. I went churning as hard as I could through that section. Each pedal stroke I felt both wheels come off the ground through the turns and skip over a few inches. I jumped over the gravel, and sprinted around the last little hill around the turn to the finish. Before hand I walked the finish line. Nothing hard to spot, a HUGE checkered flag at the line. Someone decided to take it down for our finish so I was kinda half sprinting, half wondering if I had crossed the line already. I keep going anyways, and was glad I did. I still had about 50meters to go and had Pat Luke on my wheel. I ended up lunging for the line once I finally spotted the camoflauged duct tape on the road. I thought I had it easy but decided since Dustin lost his rr by 1 inch at Rapides because he didn't lunge, I decided to just for the hell of it. Good thing I did?! I won by about half a wheel. Sweeeeeeet?!? Dustin ended up getting 11th, but put some important points into some competition for the LAMBRA overall title.

I chugged down some chocolate milk, got my medal (no money? god crap it) and me, Cary, mom and Leah went to get some food, and to this saloon right on the mississippi that supposively has some wicked bloody mary's. The bloody mary's turned out to be good, but not so much the people, nor the music. We walked in to a blaring band of has-been oldies trying to live out their dreams of being rock artists playing Hotel California. Their audience was a scattered bunch of alcoholics all over 50, one which was about 120, wore a short short freakin SHORT skirt in bright lime-green, cussed like a sailor, smoked like a chimney and drove around in a electric chair.. gooood times.

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