This criterium was super fast and fun. No group ever got off the front so it was pretty much a full hour of perfect training for me to get some "speedy" legs under me and not just endurance. I finished mediocre but it was more tactical than physical or handling and I'll take that for sure. I'm definitely looking forward to more crits soon.
Almost immediately after that I got into race director mode and pretty much ran around like a chicken with it's head cut-off until the Dickie Scramble started Sunday morning. It had snowed 15" here late in the week. To the point that THIS was Thursday...
so I was a little worried about gravel conditions, flooding and REALLY worried that the weather would keep too many people away. At the same time I knew it was warm and I knew that the conditions I was seeing were going to make for great riding. Did my best to convey that with a couple pictures and some text updates but I know I still lost a ton of people because of the weather. While I was out checking on roads...
In the end though it was a truly perfect day conditions wise. With temperatures over 40 at the start but soaring well into the mid 60s with sun.
I'll have more to say and results up for the Dickie Scramble on the Dickie Scramble blog really soon. For now here is my recap...
It takes me a while to get ready to ride one of these events just as a racer. I am not good at organizing or packing. Saturday night as race director I found that the list in my head of things to do was always getting longer. I did most of them. I must have done enough of them because no one seemed like they were angry with me Sunday. Overall though, I did not sleep much. I was up at 5 re-routing the course due to flooding and was running on nothing but a single pop tart and some ice tea when we started the neutral lead-out at 8:15 or so. I've certainly been training hard this year, but my only ride over 85 miles thus far has been the Ragnarok. I was stuffing my face with on the bike type foods and water for the first hour or so while also trying to navigate through the pack a little bit and say hi to friends etc.. Some of the planning for the race/finish/number of volunteers definitely was counting on my finishing near the front... which is something I'll avoid in the future.
The route starts fairly easy and a large group of 15 or so were together all the way to mile 45. I had not had time to investigate the MMR that was coming up next but I knew it may well have snow on it. I went to the front to stay out of trouble and set a steady climbing pace. There were downed trees, some soft stuff and eventually snow. Eventually I realized I was putting some distance on a lot of the group and kind of picked things up even more. The checkpoint wasn't far ahead and so I waited at the top and many of us regrouped. A few people chose the 77 mile route home from the checkpoint and the rest of us left for the remainder of the full route in good spirits. The sun was out and it was getting warm. It was a beautiful day. I envied those who didn't realize how much harder the rest of the route would be.
I love a lot of those roads but it got tough out there! By the last couple of climbs it was just Trevor, Moriarity and myself and we were still climbing pretty fast but otherwise doing a lot of resting. We sat at the checkpoint so long the second time that the volunteers almost pushed us out. I had a little bit of 'go' left and I attacked on the last climb where I was able to get a decent gap. Trevor then closed me down and was able to basically diesel away from me on the false flat up to the finish. Moriarity was 45 seconds back at the top of the climb but came back hard and closed on both of us over the last couple of miles but came up short of catching me. Felt very good to be done!
The Huddle was great and it was even better because there were so many other riders in there enjoying themselves. Stay tuned to the race blog for thank yous, overall update, a spot to leave some feedback etc. etc.
Finally got home around 7 and had to get to work repairing a really fancy DA9000 equipped Madone with a damaged stay and top tube... by 9 I was hungry again! Kim and I finished the night off right with a ride down to happy hour pizza and appetizers at the Loop.