Thursday, September 18, 2014

Coleman Chevrolet Stage Race by Edge City Cycling - Racing 4 Blaise

 Last weekend I had the priveledge to race my bicycle with the Fresh Racing Team in a small town near Texarkana called Douglasville, Tx. It had one stoplight in the whole town, actually I think it might have been just a 4 way with a stop sign. This was a team effort  as we raced to raise money for Kristin Blaise. Blaise was hit by a young man in Tyler, Tx on her bicycle a few weeks ago who was paying more attention to his phone than the road. The Tyler cycling and community has been raising money for her out of pocket costs with medical bills as she works 3 jobs to support herself including a Vet Technician.

I raced in the Category 4/5 division with Matthew Ramirez and Clay Emge on our Fresh Racing Team. The first race of the day consisted of a double loop course totaling just over 60 miles.

Credit to Robert Spangle Photography
Here we are all smiles before we get ready to go. Also in the race is Whit Somerall the guy who I race a few weeks ago in Louisana. This was a hilly race featuring over 3,000 feet of climbing. The pace of this race was a lot faster than last time and 15 miles into the race Whit is off the front and Clay creeps by the pack and I roll in behind him. I know if I don't go with Clay it could be game over for the rest of us. We were able to sneak away with a considerable gap from the field with Clay, Whit  (La'Sport), Evan (RBM Matrix), and me. It was pretty much a 4 man break for us the rest of the way. We put pressure on to keep the pack from catching us. It wasn't long into the breakway where I started regretting those 5x1 mile repeats on Thursday night as I turned to Jen Voit's famous saying "Shut Up Legs".

Here we are after the first loop taking in some of the water hand outs. I was doing all I could do to keep taking pulls and not get dropped. Going up some of the hills my quads would be on fire and I thought I would crack and pop off the back of the group any minute. The last 10 miles of the loop it was straight into the headwind and our pulls were getting shorter and shorter as no one wanted to be out front. With just over a mile to go Clay attacks for the finish line Whit and Evan were able to go with him but my legs could barely turn the pedals. It didn't take long for Clay as he had another gear left to pop off Whit and Evan in the final kilometer. The last mile I was light headed and barely turning over the pedals. I was worried that the pack my catch me. It was such a relief to reach the top of the hill at the finish line - bent over the bars catching my breath and wating for my legs to stop screaming.

A few hours and a couple of burgers later was the 4.6 mile Time Trial. The legs were still quite fatigued and there seemed to be more hills in this race than the map originally showed. I was able to post a 10:06 split or a 27.8 mph average which put me at 3rd overall in the 4/5 division behind Clay and Whit and moved me up to 3rd over Evan. Our time trial times were much slower than some of the other divisions just showing how much harder we rode in the road race.  

The next day was a 50 mile road race. Clay was almost a minute over Whit and Whit was a minute over me. I had a 15 second lead on Evan. I knew there was no way I was going to make that much time up over Whit.  Our goal today was to keep the race to a pack finish and not let anybody get away. My goal specifically was to stay with Evan if he tried to attacked. There isn't too much to write about this one as we all kept everybody together. People would try to attack but nobody was strong enough to make a break. Clay and I would finish 7th and 8th in the road race maintaining our GC positions of 1st and 3rd.

Fresh Raced well this weekend!  Some of the other GC contenders in Fresh included: Virgil was 3rd in the 60+ GC, Lacey Thomas won the womens 1-4 division and Seth was 3rd in the 3/4 division.

Kristin's recovery I hear is going well. There will be a Silent Auction in Tyler on October 2nd.  Info can be found here. Currently there is over $9,000 worth of product and services to bid on (not all of it is bicycle gear).  

To also help with Kristin's recovery you can also purchase this cool shirt with just a few hours to go.

With a little over a month ago I'll be wrapping up this triathlon season with Austin 70.3 and the Oilman Texas Half Ironman back to back weekends.