Boulevard Road Race
When I arrived at Boulevard Road Race I made the wrong turn and ended up driving up the climb. I measured it from the car. It was about 5 miles long. Two miles then a dip, then up again, another dip and then it rose to the steepest part at the feed zone which was right after the start/finish. I knew there was no way I could hang on for that long of a climb.
The race started uphill for about a mile and then we made a right turn. I didn’t know it, but there was a descent for about 10 miles. You know me, on a descent I’m close to the front. As we initially descended we could see off in the distance a big flat bed truck loaded with bales of hay. Remember, this a two lane, winding highway. One of the guys commented “we’re going to catch that truck and it’s going to be a problem.” I thought to myself, “this is an opportunity.” If I could get to the truck alone, I would be able to get around it myself but the pack would be stuck. I attacked immediately and within about a mile I caught the truck. No one had come with me. HAH. I’m now flying at 42 miles an hour drafting the truck. After six or eight miles I’m gone! I mean the pack was nowhere in sight. This was my chance. If I could make it up the climb by myself for the first lap, it was very possible they would go slower on the second lap which would leave the last lap. One problem though. I was going so fast I never saw the cone to make a right hand turn and I was so close to the back of the truck that the volunteer never even knew there was a cyclist behind the truck plus, there was no pack in sight. Needless to say, I blew by the turn and about a mile down the road I noticed an orange sign on the opposite side of the road. After I passed the sign, I looked back and it said “Special Event Ahead.” Damn, I had passed it. I had to stop, go back uphill and by the time I got to the corner I could see the pack coming.
I made the right hand turn and for the next five miles or so it was rollers. The pack caught me and passed me. I got dropped. I fought my way back until the start of the climb where I got dropped again. However, I caught them again on the downhill only to get dropped again on the last climb. Some big dude and another guy caught me on the last climb as well, but we dropped the one kid and the bidg dude and I hammered the second lap. He would lead on the descent and I would lead on the climbs. At the descent from the climb on the second lap we could see the pack about ¾ of a mile ahead. We had to catch them before the descent or we were done. We tried but the wind had picked up and it wasn’t to be. I dropped the big guy and went at it alone for the third lap until I passed some other kid who had been dropped and finished. At least I wasn’t last. 67 miles and 5999 ft of climbing.
After Boulevard I got in the van and drove 5 hours to Phoenix. Legs were killing me and I felt stiff all over. Knee was swollen, so I iced, stretched and went to bed. Got up and went to the crit in Chandler, Az. A 1.2 mile course with 13 turns on a speedway. Perfect for me; the more technical the better. There were two teams with about four riders each who were racing smart. I couldn’t contest the primes because I had so much fatigue in my legs, but I know how to corner so I stayed in the front. The two teams battled it out and eventually two guys stayed slightly away for first and second and I got 5th in the field.