Woke up and had coffee at 6:15...no food, didn't have time, I thought I had packed some but none. Rode into Volker Bicycles, 38 degrees and a little wind, almost perfect weather. Checked the weather (both weather.com and myfoxkc) and all was good and till 12 is what they say. Packed and left for Leavenworth. Got there registered and there on the table were 3 pans of cinnamon rolls! I ate one, a small one, realizing how hungry I was I ate 3 more washing it down with accelerade. Pinned my number and put the gu in my back pocket, also had 2 bottles ready for the 50 mile event.
I packed leg warmers but as soon as I dressed it started raining. I took off the warmers and applied a thin layer of Alchemy cold weather embrocation. It was still 38 degrees or so and I new the water on the road would soggy up our legs before too long. Race started and an skc guy rides away. We catch a mile or so down the road and then goes another. 2 other (non skc riders) join him and then the other 4 skc riders brought back the break. Then Andrew Coe goes. I know Andrew is fast so I get on it and catch him, looking back I see skc reeling us in. Buy now the wind is gusting 25-30 mph and we had only gone 10 miles or so. We ride steady and I see Andrew is in the front so I attack. I didn't attack super hard but I went fast enough that only Andrew could get me...We started working together trading pulls trying to catch a group of 3 who got away. As soon as I went the sleet/freezing ice rain began to fall...though it wasn't falling, it was gusting sideways pelting my face and legs. By then my "winter gloves) were just completely soaked and my hands were freezing...feet were freezing, the only way to not fall over was to just keep pedaling hard. We see a group far ahead, we catch them, and realize they are the 1/2 group!
We were pissed, on we go to catch the break. As we begin reeling them in we start slowing up and soon I look back and see 3 skc racers and another guy on our wheels. So 5 skc racers in a field dwindled down to 8. We had been away for a long time and those cinnamon rolls were not keeping my stomach happy. I realized I had not had any gel or drink yet but my hands were too cold to do anything but hold on! Guys were doing crazy stuff, unclipping and shaking their legs, swinging arms, anything to keep the blood flowing. My lens were all dirty and my vision was not good, I could feel my eyeballs failing so I started alternating eyes, keeping one eye open, one eye closed.
We started up a fairly steep hill and I shifted down since the pace was slower. Once we crested the top Andrew Coe attacked down a crazy descent and got a way, I was unable to shift up again and I stayed with the group. Each descent I would lose wheels but caught them up the hill. I could feel my jaw locking up and my vision was getting worse, not to mention everyone in the group could barely shift or use breaks, the only thing that kept me going was thinking that eventually we'll turn onto the highway and we'll have a tailwind, (there were nothing but crosswinds and headwinds the first 30 miles).
Finally I hear pop and my rear tire was flat. Just like that... I could barely get my bike over to the side of the road. No extra wheels for me, I ask the wheel car for a ride and she said someone would be buy to get me. Yes, we were in the middle of no where on a country road 25 miles north of Leavenworth. The 1/2's came by and then the 4's. Dan was looking strong!
Then the masters and finally the 5's which Steve asked if I was ok. I said yes. Though I had been standing on the side of the road for 15 minutes in the sleet freezing to death!
The Cat 5 wheel truck stopped and I didn't ask for a ride, I told him I needed a ride...he was my last hope! He loaded up my bike and in I went. About 15 minutes of shivering and I was finally getting my core temp back up. The thermometer in the truck said it was 24 degrees outside! Plus 25-35 mph gusts! We followed the 5's all the way back and Steve pulled the whole way slowly dropping one by one.
Steve finished 4th, he said he bonked at the last mile but still was able to finish well. I asked him why he pulled the whole time and he said it was too cold not to get back as soon as possible. Everyone else who pulled didn't actually work, they just went at Tempo so Steve got a great workout.
Upon our return we heard Dan got 3rd, what a great result for a 4 race!
Next week is the last Spring Fling, I am guessing the fields will be big in preparation for the VTGP!
Following weekend is Tour of Hermann or the Bazaar makeup.
Tomorrow is Tues. Night Crit!