There is a decent hill, about half of Mineral Wells at about mile 6 of 12. A small group of about 7-8 got a gap heading up to the hill and the group chased as we went up the hill. They all died because they chased and just blew up on the hill as we climbed steady. A few of us found some extra gears at the top and put the hammer down. Before I knew it I heard the moto behind us and no field in sight. The group very quickly became 2 and we just got to work. Matthew Kessing was my breakaway partner. He looked over at me and the most awesome words came out of his mouth “I’ve been waiting to say this to one of you guys… It’s PARTY TIME.” If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is.
As we came into the beginning of our 5th and final lap we had 40 seconds on the group. Matthew looked at me and said we have got to put more time on them. I’m telling you man, it hurt. Next thing we knew we had 1:05, then 1:30 going into the final climb. We maintained this distance for the rest of the race. At about 3K to go I looked back and he was about 4 wheels back. I thought he popped, but little did I know he was going to attack. I snapped right up and attacked back onto his wheel and he conceded any future attacks. At about 1K we were on the fast downhill and separated wheels and rode next to each other. We shook hands and agreed to just match sprint the finish. He told me he was going to give me everything he’s got and he is a big boy (strong like bull big). We came to 200M and each dropped the hammer. I took him quickly and then realized I had it. I was able to sit up, straighten my jersey and give the dreamed about victory salute as I crossed the line.
I was only able to do it with my team in the race. Justin was in the field doing work on the front chasing down attacks and making sure breaks didn’t happen. One slipped off and Justin sent Geoff off. Geoff sat in the break, doing little work and keeping our break out there. He finished 5th and Justin in the main field.
It was a special moment and hard to explain how all the work and dedication you put into this thing actually pays off.
Windy as shit and total gutterfest. The race was basically ridden the entire time on the centerline. I bridged to a break in lap 4 and the other two guys were not strong at all. We were quickly caught and back with the rest of the field. My breakaway partner was back up there with me and drilling the pace. He was responsible for shelling over half the field with the pace. Coming into the 5th lap there were a couple attacks and I just couldn’t hang on. I chased and caught once and got back in the middle of the field. Unfortunately we immediately had a small climb and I was just spent. I moved out of the way and just pedaled the rest of the way in. I kept the field in my sight the entire last lap and just kept going. A group of 4 came around me with about 3K to go and we started working. Funny enough we almost caught the field and just had our own battle for 16th. I ended up 17th on a really tough day. Sadly I was so spent that I packed up with the boys and headed home. The officials mistakenly put Chad’s name on the results for me. We thought it was a case of getting the wrong jersey, but our numbers were so close that it was simply a mistake and has been corrected.
Fun weekend and now time for a rest week. Getting ready for Matrix Challenge now.