Well, that was fun…sort of…
It was 3 days of some grueling racing and it felt good to be back out on the road with a pack of handcycles. The first day was the Time Trial. It was a straight out and back course around 15.5 km. You go up on the way out and then back down to the finish line. The TT is one of the areas that I need to work on the most. It’s just you vs. the clock! I left the starting line like a rocket and unfortunately I couldn’t maintain my speed. Finishing the race with the same time as last year was not the goal and being mid pack didn’t sit well with me either. That is racing though and I had to get Friday out of my head so I could prepare for the task ahead.
Saturday morning I was at the course before the sun was even up. I felt good and was ready to go to war with the race leaders. I managed to stay with the lead pack on the first lap where 5 of us broke away and then we were split up on the 3 km climb. I worked together with 4th place rider for the remainder of the race. He attacked, I chased, then I counter attacked. This went on for the next 20 km until he attacked one last time and I couldn’t close the gap. With 4 km left to go, I blew up on that hill bad. I had taken time back and moved up in the rankings a bit but lost it all when I was moving at a snail’s pace up the hill. Then, I was passed by a couple of riders and that was like pouring salt into the open wound! The best part of a stage race is that there’s another day!
Sunday we raced mid afternoon and I had a cheering squad! It was nice to have support at the race, especially after the first couple of days. The Crit was in downtown Phoenix and it was a 1 km loop with lots of fast corners! The gun went off and I was at the front of the pack. It was a 30 minute race full of excitement and lead changes. I even won $25 on one of the laps for crossing the line first! With about 350 metres to go there were 2 attacks and I picked the wrong line and was not able to answer the attack. I finished 4th and was happy that I had finally showed up! Overall, I was not happy with my performance over the 3 days of racing. With that being said, I took a lot away from getting beat up on and I have been working towards that not happening anymore! I am down here in the Az for a little while longer and will not let this prime training ground go to waste. I will come back bigger, stronger and faster than ever!!!