March 2nd race for $10,000 dollars is what we were told in Septmber of 2007. I was told to pray for good weather and that is just what happened. The Lord knew I needed some motivation to lose my annual 30 pounds of winter fat. Well I wish I would have listened to Him. I knew I was going to be in a hurt box for this race. Yes this was my first race of the year and lets just hope it is my last race of crushing the pedals with my 200+ pound body. 2 weeks before the race I had put in less than 45 hours since the end of October, and I was all of a sudden praying for a winter strom like in the good old days, when you built snow forts 12 feet tall and tunnels that lasted from the front yard to the back yard.
God had something else in mind. He knows that I am weak and that I still have a hard time realizing He creates miracles in us all. He wants me to get it through my thick skull that I can do it if I focus on Him. Well March 2nd 2008 was another miracle day for me. I Felt so much better than the week before. The week before I went to SC and put in 9.5 hours in 3 days. That was more hours than I put in since the 2nd weekend of January. The Lord had helped me get through SC training camp and motived me to get on the trainer like my wife told me to do since the new year,God has tried for years and He works through others. She was right I can get on the trainer for at least a 1/2 hour each night and that is better than nothing.
So my legs Felt good for the race and I wish it would have been an afternoon race cause it was 18 degress warmer but it was still a warm 37 degrees. The wind was blowing pretty steady on the back stretch. The course was a little technical for only having four turns. Lots of unmarked pots holes and manholes beat up the bikes pretty good. Well not my bike, that Felt is solid and handles with ease. For this bike being 15.7 pounds it sure is smooth to handle. Since I have done one crit I can now say that this bike truly is the best bike I have been on. Felt has also improved there technology by creating a sprinters bike as well. I have the FC Felt which is the same as the F2. I have to say I can't wait to ride the F1 sprinters bike because this FC is the best sprinters bike out there!
My Dad told me he got video of Arnold and I thought that was awesome. I just missed getting a glance of the Governor. I warmed up and the bike wasn't shifting right so I just made sure it would drop to my 11 before the race started. At the line I took notice of the stitches on my front tire and thought for sure I would have a flat. My teammates looked like they were all ready. Even though they said Dave wasn't coming I still looked for him at the line, wondering if we had to help him pin his number on or tighten his helmet. He always puts his gloves on during the race. It doesn't matter if we are at Bike Jam or the local races. He has even had to sprint for a couple of miles cause we already started the race.
Anthony gets today's illegal start award, both feet clipped in and I wasn't going to say anything he was in front of me. I looked down again and noticed I was in the little chain ring as we took off. Best start I have had in awhile but I backed it down cause I didn't wan to burn all my matches, to late. Should have though cause Kirk went early and no one was with him. Bob Martin went to the front that I took notice of and pulled him back with the help of Andy's and one of Jared's teammates. I tried some stupid stuff early and didn't learn from my mistakes from the past. Jared went up to Kirk while I was still catching my breath from a couple stupid attempts, you don't know until you try several times. Then I got lucky, after I pulled for a hard 1/2 a lap with a group of 8 just in front of the field. When the field caught us Dirk started to take off while I was on his wheel. Dirk's team yelled at him and as he pulled over I took off with Rolf on my wheel into the headwind.
Rolf was so strong and I couldn't help him to bridge up to the front two, Kirk and Jared. We were at 6 seconds for a long time and I Felt like quiting so I told Rolf. Rolf took over for a mile or a little more and the field was on our heals for the longest time. Since Rolf thought we could stay away I didn't give up. It seemed like every time I turned around Roadhouse was on the front. I was wondering what Roadhouse was doing cause they have all these awesome riders and no one went with Jared and no one went with Rolf and I. I determined it was early and no one was in shape, sort of like myself. Then Roadhouse sent Dirk up to us and it appeared he was in no mans land for awhile. Dirk sat on us for over 5 miles and decided to attack Rolf and I with two laps to go. Thanks to my teammates the field was no where close now.
So with two laps to go Dirk takes off and of course he wasn't going to work with Rolf and I because his teammate Kirk was going to win the race right? I knew Jared could sprint and if Jared didn't put himself into the red I knew he would have a good chance of victory. Well once Dirk went I thought I was done. Rolf couldn't get Dirk's wheel and I was already thinking 5th place is awesome so I wanted to give up. Then I thought about all the fans cheering for me everytime I passed the start finish line the whole race. It seemed like everyone knew I was out of shape looking 30 pounds overweight and struggling the whole race, they were right. If it wasn't for all the fans, my teammates, and family I would have looked back and sat up trying to catch my breath again. Rolf caught Dirk in the head wind, and I knew that if I didn't catch them soon it was all over.
Somehow, someway,(miracle) I caught them both right at the start finish with one to go hoping, praying they would not attack. As I went by the start finish Dad yelled sit on their wheel and I did. Rolf lead the way but the speed dropped tremendously, Praise the Lord! My legs actually Felt good now, probably the best they Felt all day, which makes a lot of since. I kept thinking when do I go, when do I go, as Rolf was trying to get Dirk to come to the front. Dirk was so occupied with Rolf's wheel he had no idea when I was going to go. I think Rolf and Dirk's wheels touched four times in 200 meters in that head wind.
Well we were getting close to the 2nd to last turn and I wanted to be in the lead into the last turn cause my last crit in 2007 was not a good one. I waited till one more erratic move from Rolf right before the 2nd to last turn. Getting close now you better go....., go, go, go, wait.....now go. I almost clipped both Dirk and Rolf on the outside when I went, not really but when you have more room you should use it. Now it is time to see how my new bike works. Every little part of the bike was being flexed to the core as I am using every muscle in my body. Oh no a little strain in my left calf, sheww.... it's ok keep going harder.... faster. Faster then this their going to catch you. Ok slow down last turn.... you don't want to lose your cookies in the last turn Cookie Monster. Not that slow! Now push it harder, come on is that all you got GO!!! Don't finish till you cross the line GO!!! Yes..... Thank you Jesus!