I have to say that this weekend of racing was a brutal one on the body.  I have been racing either bikes or running just about every weekend since the beginning of March.  This I think has all come to a head this past weekend in Syracuse NY.

 

The Tour De Syracuse is a two day, three stage event consisting of a Criterium on Saturday and a short TT on Sunday morning followed by a 55mile RR later Sunday morning.

 

The Crit was and is a fun event.  The pace is hard and the speeds are fast.  The down side is there are crashes galore!  This weekend was no different.  I managed to keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down for the entirety of the race, but I can’t say the same for others.  My race, Cat4, was ‘clean’ up until the final lap.  Just as the final lap was about to begin there was some bumping and grinding that took place around me followed immediately by the rider behind and to my left (the curbside) taking a tumble.  Seconds after that 5-6 guys directly in front of me decided to tangle and ultimately cause another crash a mere 100yards after the first crash.  Seeing as how I was in a poor position with people with an obvious inability to control their bicycles I decided to just continue for the finish with no attempts at the win.  A sad day for sure, as I was hoping to be in contention for the OA at the end of the weekend.  I did, however, manage to squeak out a prime lap and score a six pack of beer!

 

Sunday began with a hour and a half drive and a short warmup for the TT.  I was all set up on the line and ready to go.  They yelled go and I was off.  I gave it my best as I don’t believe in not doing so.  Sadly my best on this day wasn’t good enough.  15th or so if I recall.  I feared after that showing that my day was not going to be what was planned/hoped for.

 

The road race.  This was a race I had limited expectations for to begin with (see a trend yet?).  I knew from last years Cat5 race what the course consisted of.  Only this year I had to do two laps instead of just one.  This meant going over a large hill climb that for me would likely spell the end of my contention.  This climb happens at the finish/start of the two laps and is also where you finish the whole race.  So you climb this hill once at a neutral pace, and twice at race pace.  I made it to the base of the hill to start the second lap with the group.  I made sure to pace myself for the beginning of the climb so as to be able to at least hold on to the group as we crested.  This didn’t happen.  The group ‘gapped’ me on the way up and managed to put a sizeable gap between myself and them.  I used the following tailwind/downhillish grade over the next 7-8miles to close that gap.  I picked up a rider or two along that way that offered a little help in the chase.  The end result was detrimental to my day.  Once I finally reached those lead riders, that later told me of the sickening pace they were holding while I was trying desperately to catch them, the lid closed on my very narrow coffin.  I caught them just before the right hand turn that held the beginning of the climbs.  I was spent, more so than I believe I have EVER been spent before!    Shortly after getting up a little of the hill with the group, my body decided it was time to die.  From that point forward it was a matter of getting back to the finish.  A trip of 14+ miles that I was considering NOT making.  In my easiest gear I found my legs unable to pedal much over the requirement needed to hold my bike in the upright position.  The trip back was against the wind and uphill to make things worse.  Along the way I found myself with others that had fallen prey to the menacing paces that were set forth from our ‘peers’.  We worked together to make sure we all survived and made it home.

 

After this weekend, I am concerned that I may have dug myself into a hole that I am truly not sure I can recover from in a weeks time.

 

Here’s to hoping for a good finish in the Fly-By-Night Duathlon that is next weekend.  And a solid respectable finish in the following weekend’s Rev3 Half in Quassy.  After those two races, I think I am taking a break from racing for a little while.

 

Tim