We left KC about 1:00pm, thinking that'd give us plenty of time for a 7:00pm start, traffic was bad, we got there pretty late. Still enough time to get registered, dressed, water, etc.
The course for the loop is new this year. 4 turns. Turn 1 and 2 are easy, turn 3 or 4 are a little loose at speed.
3 laps in a girl walks out into the middle of the road, not even looking, while a 100+ rider field comes barreling down at 30mph, she did what you might say a squirrel would do, go left, then right, then left, then right, then stopped and hugged herself as riders went around her. No one fell and no one got hurt.
There were plenty of attempts at break aways at this race. There was very little wind, and with only 2 turns at the very edge of the course that would slow a charging field down, nothing would stay away.
I stayed in the front the whole race, getting into a few moves I had confidence in, but there was always a team ready to bring back a break.
Every lap it was a race to corner 3, it was a hard left, into another hard left, then 300 meters to the finish. With 3 to go the pace was, attacks were flying, I don't remember much, with 1 to go I was on the front, waiting for the attacks. Finally 200 meters from corner 3 everyone was going, full speed, I got through the turn around 8-9 place, feel a guy on my inside, we were going fast, single file and this guy starts pushing me, then the next turn he's on me, he swings right after almost hitting his face on a barricade that was sticking out. I grab my brakes, scrub my speed, forget to shift down, and try to get going again, I pass maybe 1 person without anyone passing me. 9th for the night. Had I had a good head and shifted as I was breaking, I could have went better, maybe 7th, had I been 1 or 2 riders up going into turn 3, I'd been top 5.
The p/1/2 race was a blast to watch. Really fast night racing.
Saturday was a bigger day. Lots of turns, very flat. Longer course. Still no wind. I road the front mostly, not really getting into any moves, nothing really got more than a few seconds away. 48 minutes in, I took a nap, thinking we were racing 60 +3, next time around they said 4 to go and I was 40 riders back. I pedaled really hard, got towards the front and stayed there till 1 to go. Going over the bridge we are all 16 riders wide, going 15mph, everyone willing to attack was boxed, including me. We started rolling again, I attacked the outside into the next turn and again into the next turn moving into the top 20. At the next turn there was a crash behind some where. Then there were huge accelerations. When you hear bikes/people hit the pavement, its hard to race. I kind of mentally checked out, stayed in the same spot for 2 turns into the finish, 24th place.
I had really bad gears for this race. I was always in a gear too big, always accelerating out of turns with a massive cadence, my legs were really heavy with 4 to go. I just didn't spin enough.
We ate pizza at the handlebar, a great place, $2 beers too from 4-8. Then ate at atomic cowboy, they had $5 mugs that you can refill for $1.
Then we bought 5 32oz chocolate fudge milkshakes, half price from sonic(after 8pm), watched snl, went to sleep.
I didn't know what to think about sunday's race. Half the week I didn't even want to do it. There are over 100 guys showing up for the weekend, and 98 of them didn't win friday or saturday, and they will be trying to win sunday. There's always the most pressure on everyone the last day.
Once I saw there was some wind in the forecast, 13mph, I felt better about my decision to race. For the first time this weekend, I didn't line up at the very back for the start. 2nd row. Into the 4th turn I was the 5th rider, into the 5th turn I was the 50th rider. Between turn 4 and 5 there's a long straight, into the wind, before the final 2 turns into the finish. Every lap, it seemed the field would be punching it all the way through turn 4, then no one wanted to work and the guys sprinting out of turn 4 eventually caught up and we'd be 8 wide, boxed in swarmed, until there was an attack the next turn.
I kept good gears today, I spun more, and didn't lose too much focus.
With 4 to go me and dude from tulsa jumped hard. We had come around the 4th corner, there's a bit of an incline, we both went at the same time, two guys chased and caught on. We were flying. Me and the dude from tulsa laid down hard 30 second pulls. My legs were screaming. We got going up the hill and the two dudes both took short pulls, we had a good gap by now, taking huge risks at high speed through each corner, no brakes. With 3 to go, I went hard through turn number 1 and 2 with mellow johnny on my wheel, I'm guessing the 3rd guy lost the wheel, took a chance around turn number 2 to catch back, crashed, and took out the tulsa rider as well. 2 to, about 2.6 miles left, we have 10-15 seconds on a charging field. I kept going. I was in a bad place. A place where had I sat up and waited for the field, hoping to recover to get a top 10, I would not have recovered. Everything was on fire. Finally my last helper came around, took a soft pull, the wind was still there on the backside, and I got going again, all around, then he came around up the hill.
Towards the top, I look back, I don't see anyone, so I go. The mellow man doesn't react, but I knew if we didn't keep the pace really high, we were dead. As I passed him his face was bad, tired. As hard as I could. Head down, I was scared. Got to turn 3 and 4, took it hard, I felt my wheels sliding. Kept going, it was nice to coast for a bit. Now the hard long drag into the wind.
It was a long time, I was looking back seeing the field charging. I also see the tulsa rider coming up on my wheel. I was still not in a good place mentally. He was a strong rider, but there was no way he crashed at 30mph, got up, jumped into the front of the field, then attacked field again and bridged a 15 second gap, well, mentally, I thought this indeed happened. We road together, he took a pull around the last 2 turns and I said stupid like, "keep going, I'll lead it out after the last turn, you got the win, you got it." We make the turn, I get going, and leave him, so I start to wait, and wait, and wait, and I see the field, the tulsa man doesn't say anything, the front man is flying, with about 15 meters to go I realize that I either need to jump and take the win or let this man flying by the tulsa dude take it. I jump, realizing I'm in the wrong gear after all that waiting and cruise in for 2nd. I had really good legs for the last 4 laps. The kind that scream with pain, but let you keep going. The course seemed to suit me, being able to get through the corners fast, coasting the corners to recover, then jumping out of corners to get good speed.