We will get to the report but first how about a food report?
After the race the winner of the Pro / Open class treated me to a tomato / mozzarella panini.
When I got home I had lasagna
then a salad
washed down with Italian soda
followed by a strawberry juice bar
Neal rode up to the race with me, which made something of an ass-grinder drive quite bearable. I'm sure the fact that it was a beautiful day played into that as well.
After downing large coffees and water bottles on the drive we wished we had cut off that Union Velo rider who made it to the bathroom at Dunkin Donuts before us.
Turn out was good for the end of the season in the singlespeed class. The usual suspects, Dave, Scooter, and now Gerry were there, as well as about a half dozen other guys. One was Chris Borrello who had beat me by a couple of minutes at Winding Trails this year.
I had just set a World Inter-Continental record on my commute Friday with my fixed gear so I was feeling pretty good. I had forgone my usual OCD pre-race day rituals, and instead chose to go riding with LB and cut the grass.
The whistle blows and we are off. Chris, Scooter, Dave and I are leading in a tight pace line. The trail turns slightly up, and I decide to nail it and go to the front. For six glorious minutes I lead!
Then we turn on to a paved road, and the triple tandem of Dave, Scooter, and Chris go by.
They get a gap, but I'm able to pull Dave back, and move back up to third.
I get a little gap on him, and think I'm okay, but after another road section he is right on me again.
He's clever too. Being stronger than me on the road sections he'll let me take the front there, only to politely take the front when we get back to the singletrack, where I'd like to believe I can go faster.
Every time I get a gap on Dave, that tenacious Mofo claws his way back to my wheel.
This goes on for the first hour of racing.
Then when I think I've finally broken the elastic, he uses the 40-49 leaders to pace him back.
Cheeky plan until one of the same bobbles in front of him allowing me to get a gap.
When I finally have the nerve to look back to confirm this, about 1:15 in, I look down and see I only have one bottle.
The empty one.
I catch up to Scott Hood from the Cat1 30-39 group and begin to ride with him for awhile.
After he takes the lead I notice he has not 1, but 3 bottles on him. That's a lot to carry, so I ask him if he'd like me to carry one of them to the finish for him. Seeing the logic in not carrying extra weight, he relinquishes a half full one with some chocolate milk flavored stuff in it.
Earlier in the race, I thought to myself "in the dry this course is sort of like Winding Trails", after an hour and a half, my wrist were telling me "This course is nothing like Winding Trails!"
At the final aid station I'm psyched to get some water. The young man doing hand ups is trying to be all crafty and spills the water on me. I know I only have a few miles left, but after how Dave has been reeling me in all day there is no way I'm going to stop.
I start running into Cat 3 or First Timer traffic so know I'm close. Try and pass as politely as possible as to not sully their experience, but try and stay on it to prevent the patented Skrocki Sneak Attack®.
Finally, the clearing and the sweeper to the finish.
Boy do I need a drink (of water)!
Third behind Scooter and Chris.
Great job guys!
Congratulations to Scott for going 8 for 8 winning the Cat1 SS overall!
It's been great trying to chase you this year Scooter.
(I'd use another exclamation point but I don't want anyone to think I use too many).
Congratulations to my buddy Neal Burton of Central Wheel for his first Pro victory!
(I couldn't help myself)
I'm second guessing my gear choice a bit; I used a smaller gear last year and had a faster avg speed, but the course was a little different. Although there wasn't much elevation gain, I felt slow and bogged down on some of the rocky sections. A smaller gear wouldn't have changed the outcome at all, just made me a little more comfortable.
Now for one last food item:
frozen strawberries on the wrists