Since Red Rose went belly up, my racing calendar got a lot more open. Sooo, it's time to up my miles, along with more focused work on my weaknesses. Sprinting, Sprinting and,... yeah, Sprinting!
I know I've lost a few pedal strokes on hills over the years, but my sprinting has become somewhat of a joke. I'm gonna try to do something about that over the next several weeks to see what happens.
Tonight's group ride was absolutely brutal. I was running late and noticed them leaving when I showed up. I wasn't sure if they were the slow group or the fast group, so I jumped out of my car, took my bike off the rack and started my chase. Turns out it was the slow group. I caught them and went by because I wanted to get some hill work in. We do this nasty hill that has a 17% slope every week. I went to the top fast, turned around and did it again. I was completely spent when the fast group caught up.
Turns out, the fast group isn't racing this weekend so they decided to go a bit longer than normal. I wasn't very prepared with only one small waterbottle full, but what the hell, give it a shot right? Marc and Pete went up the road and got a gap on the rest of us over some small up hills, then down a steep one before this long uphill drag to our next wait point. I spotted them up the hill ahead of me and decided I'd try to catch them. I laid down a pretty fast tempo and did manage to catch them near the top and kept going to the wait point. I felt damn good about that catch, but it took a lot out of me.
The rest of the ride after that was basically just hanging on for dear life. No water in my bottle. At one point, a guy behind us took a shortcut through a field on his Pinarello Paris to try and catch up. That was funny. At another point heading down some steep hills I cooked my brakes and almost didn't make the curve at the bottom. Fun!
Anyway, the last hill of the night did me in. Marc, Clark and Pete got a gap on me and kept it until the finish. Those guys are freakin strong riders. I was good up until that point but just couldn't take any more. Overall, a great night of riding. Cold beer time now. :)
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