Here's the Facebook link. Thanks Carolina!
It was an incredibly windy Sunday morning in western Miami, a tepid 75 degrees and sun, and I was ready to race my Boo R (with Edge 1.68 wheels, bar/stem/fork/post, and Sram Red!) after a couple months without a number pinned.
The race instructions were entirely in rapid-fire Spanish, so I went just decided to follow a bit, see what the rules were like, and enjoy the event. That said, I set out to WIN--this was a huge deal for me because it's the first and last race I can do with my Boo R after I must ride Jamis starting January 1st, 2010. Oh, I forgot to mention the SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS CASH on the line :-)
The neutral was an actual NEUTRAL, unlike most crashfests before kilometer zero, and it was great because we started at 8AM and I had just rolled out of bed and suited up about 90 minutes before. Unfortunately I was without coffee, but I had a couple Espresso Love Gu's and I was awake.
The wind was SERIOUS--30-40mph sustained--and blowing east to west. And the race had a net elevation change of 7.3 feet. DEAD flat. So when the neutral was cruising along at 30+ going west, and I saw the race start and the lead vehicles turn right up ahead, I made SURE to sprint up the left and get in the front.
After a couple attacks in the crosswind, I was carrying momentum from about 30 back and decided to roll it at 95% in the gutter. Sure enough, that was all she wrote, and our selection of 13 was off and rotating. It was never easy, but never super hard, just LONG and BORING because there was absolutely no resting. I was breathing through my nose the entire time, and the legs felt pretty good, thank you very much Colorado!
It was a windy course through a grid the had a turn-around 35 miles in, so it was good because I knew what was coming after the turn-around. Sure enough, a couple of the 13 rolled off about 40 miles in and got 50m. I decided to drive it in the gutter and bridge up, and that was probably the hardest part of the race, but it was fun just taking three guys with me and getting the group down to just six.
The six of us rolled quite well, and the only guy I knew in the group was Yosvony Falcon, an excellent rider who was with Toshiba in 2008 and will be on Bahati's new team in 2010. VERY smart and quick rider, so I was a bit worried about him. Three guys were on the same team, Coco's, and another guy in a Pro Bike Kit jersey and black shorts. It was a good group that worked very well together from mile 40 until just before the finish at mile 72.
Coming back in, I knew I had great legs and started to get my internal smile going--I knew it was my race to lose, I just needed to be smart and not play my hand until everyone had gone all-in. A Coco's guy attacked with a couple miles of INSANE headwind left, and I bridged up to him and rolled it as hard as I could to get a larger gap. He sat on, having two teammates behind, but he also said in broken English, "No spreent, no spreent!". I've definitely heard that before, and although I believed him, I made sure he rolled through in the headwind a couple times.
With the finish in site, but a LONG last kilometer, I had him get in the front for 20 seconds and then I jumped and sprinted and came in solo.
The win meant a lot to me because I could tell it was a huge event for the local fans and riders, and because I really showed that Boo is a great race bike that can WIN. It's very stiff and efficient, and being able to jump hard into a crosswind to latch onto another rider is so important in a race like the Vuelta Miami. Mostly, I am just happy to be able to come to dealers now and say that yes, it's not just a pretty face--this thing can be ridden FAST.
Having Tyler Wren up at the Cycle Smart Invitational, battling Adam Craig for 10th until the unfortunate final-lap flat, is great as well!! It tugs at my heartstrings to have Boo seeing the big time :-)