We rolled into town yesterday evening quite late but thanks to some adrenaline carry over from the race in Dilworth, the drive was smooth sailing. In the morning we went out for a spin of the legs and found the annual Mother's Day festival in the town of Gunwoody. I found two extremely cool booths: a glass art and a photography exhibit. Here are link to the booths and there are photos below. Lisa's Glass Studio
, Stan Susky Photography
. Check this out! It made my day and it just might make yours.
The Bike Race:
Day 7 of USA Crits Speedweek located in the hilly area of Sandy Springs (small town north of Atlanta, GA). The course featured a 400m uphill drag (3-7%) along the start-finish line, followed by a quick right flick before 4 very fast downhill corners leading back to the base of the lap. Carlos started in the blue Lap Leader Jersey and we were looking to take some mid-race points and hopefully get a jump on Keogh (UHC) in the finale. After Dilworth, Carlos sat 2nd in overall points, only 4 points back but also tied with Hilton Clarke (UHC). I had moved up to 13th overall so Team Exergy still firmly held onto 2nd in the Team Classification. With a solid day today we could walk away with a great week!
It was definitely one of those courses/races that after the first lap you don't ever think you'll finish. Fifty laps of that! I just did one and I'm fried. It was the most humid day of the week and the most vicious with that hard start finish climb. I watched the early moves from mid-pack as Barley and Remi helped Carlos near the front. A few small moves went off the front but nothing really looked good until I luckily followed one rider off the front 15 minutes into the 60 minute race. It was the move.
Our group started as two, bridging up to a solo rider. But quickly riders from behind came up. Over the course of the next 6 laps, our breakaway grew to 15 riders with Carlos bridging on as one of the last to sneak away. Unfortunately UHC had five riders in the break, Exergy 2, Pista Palace 2, Bissell 1 and other solo riders. The pace was high as soon as the UHC riders lined up at the front of the break but I was able to sneak past them all for the mid-race prime, taking valuable points away from Keogh and netting a nice dollar prize. My rear started going flat though so I moved to the back and slingshoted the last rider into the group as I peeled into the pits.
Aside: If you are riding in the pack and the pace is high (single-file) but you need to pit or are moving to the back for whatever reason it is very rude to just pull off and create a bike-length gap in the middle of the pack. Instead you can hold out your hand next to your right hip and when the rider behind connects, you fling them forward sacrificing your momentum for theirs. This isn't always appreciated by the officials and such a maneuver during the leadout can result in a disqualification but for situations such as flats, it is usually a welcomed gesture between riders and officials alike.
Thanks to the SRAM pit crew I was back out after one lap, just in time to mitigate a move out of the breakaway with 3 UHC riders and only Carlos. No way I was leaving him out to fry today. Two laps later we lapped the field (77second laps) and the pandimonium began. For the most part the leaders are given room to come through the peloton but it is always a fight to get through the group and attack again. These attacks didn't happen but the speed went up as we rolled over with 10 laps to go, just over 13 minutes. UHC had the pace pinned and the entire peloton strung out in a long line. A $250 penultimate lap prime mixed those lapped riders with those going for the finale and overall title so it was an absolute dogfight. Carlos finished 4th right behind a UHC podium sweep, securing 3rd overall for the week and 2nd in the team classification. A 10th place on the day moved me up to 12th overall so Team Exergy had a great showing at Speedweek 2011. Our small and fast squad worked extremely well against all of the full D3 Pro teams and despite UHC's big D2 power took away the overall in the closing days, we are walking away with some big smiles and excitement about returning to the criterium's with a full 8-man squad of our own!
For now, I'm off to Baltimore for 1 day before taking a much needed vacation in Northampton, MA (home of the WetBandits). So check this newest mix out, it's right from the source. You know I'll be listening to these nasty beats during some much anticipated long easy days in the saddle.
EPIC FRIDAY's Wetblog:
Wow! All I can say is download this for your next big workout. 90minutes of smooth and dirty beats!