Monday, September 22, 2008

You have two options . . .

Option A: lead a teammate out for a top-5 finish while securing a top-12 for yourself in a stacked field of some of the best criterium racers from around the world, earning roughly $5k for the team in the process.

Option B: go down in an inescapable crash on the last lap while in the top-10, but make sure your teammate goes down with you so that you no longer have any shot of getting a rider in the $50k prize money to the top-25. Oh, and your teammate's bike is also totaled and your own body goes through the SIXTH crash of the season.

Well, I don't know about you all, but I definitely picked Option B! I could think of no more fitting way to close out my season than to crash out of the top-10 in the richest one-day race in the country after pegging it for much of the race and having one of the best field sprinters in country ready to launch off my wheel.

Ok, enough sarcasm for one post. Time Pro Cycling ran a more active race than any team there, including Garmin and Kelly Benefits (with EIGHT riders!), and we had a guy off the front for a total of probably 1/2 of the race! We won two $1,000 premes outright, the first when I attacked a break just as it was being swallowed up and rode a lap solo, the second came when Tom Soladay was solo off the front for almost 10 laps, and I even performed my trademark flying-lap to take second on the preme for $500! Jon Hamblen was super active at the front, as always, chasing down anything dangerous and just being an incredible workhorse, while Adam stayed safely tucked away in the field getting ready for the inevitable sprint.

The course was held on Pennsylvania avenue, just ten blocks away from the capital . . . beautiful! There were many spectators, an awesome kids race, and generally top-notch organization and funding. We were taken out to a very nice restaurant, Sonoma, and given free reign on their ultra-expensive menu, then slept in one of DC's longest-running hotels, the Hotel Harrington, again provided by the race organization. My hat is off to them!

After our excellent race, it was just heartbreaking to get taken out in the final lap. However, after venting to my dad, I realized that we were racing against Tour de France podium contenders and the winner of the Tour of Missouri, multiple USPRO national champions, Tour of California stage winners, etc. I am a full-time student at Princeton, starting a company in my spare time (I guess that's what you would call it?), and also racing my bike at the tender age of 21. I realized that, crash or not, it's pretty cool to be fighting for the win at the end of a long first professional season with riders who have been there, done that, and won that.

I'm just left of center . . . this 180-turnaround was actually less sketchy than I thought it would be, and made the course very interesting.

Adam and I were on Hilton's wheel with less than 1k to go . . .

Well, time to hang the bike up for a few weeks and kick back! I've been looking forward to this for a long time, but then I also know I'm going to miss racing SO much! I may have to figure something out to keep my sanity this winter. I do have my sweet Silver Ghost now (a Vespa GT200), and the Princeton team is going to take full advantage of having our own Craig Cook around to motorpace us!

Thanks for reading, and I *HOPE* to make an entry about the Espoir National Road Race ASAP, it was my strongest performance (again, without a top result!) this season. Now it's time to get those problem sets done!

1 comment:

Godfather Marco said...

Too bad you don't have a cool stream of photos like Downers Grove last year ;)

When we heading to Argentina?

Take care - keep it up!