Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Tour of Lancaster County(ToLC):Course: 55 miles with about 600ft climbing per 10 mile lap. Nice long flat section through a shaded valley alongside a creek followed by a steep but short climb. Then some nice rollers followed by 2 wicked descents hitting 49.8 mph (p.s. I saw a nice Garmin at the bottom of the one descent. Hope that dude recovered it). Some more rollers out in the 90 degree farm country of Lancaster which leads back into the shaded valley. Finish is a separate climb that starts at about 10%-12% and then levels off to about 4% for the finishing sprint (500meter short climb).
Did the 3/4 ToLC on Saturday. Started the day off badly by having a real bad bout of the runs. Spent most of my morning on the porcelain god praying for an end. Got to the race and spent my pre-race in the port o jon. Made it to the start line without soiling myself thank God.
So that should sum up how I felt physically. As the for the race itself it started off slow with a few guys going off the front. There were a few guys patrolling the front that weren't on a team and had us going ridiculously slow. So I went to the front to try and get some guys working to pick up the pace. I figured the breaks weren't going to last with 50 miles still to go and some short but steep hills in the way. Of course no one would pull through as I lifted the pace and so I just kept it at a fast tempo but nothing that would burn me out. We hit the first climb and my teammate went pedaling by me with another guy. So my team and I immediately went into blocking mode. We slowed the pace down for the next 2 laps to a laughable sped. Until finally the other teams decided enough was enough and swarmed us. By then the break had a few minutes and with good luck would last to the end. I spent lap 3 trying not to defecate myself and swallowing a small amount of puke. Yo-yoed off the back a few times. Considered quitting. But then I realized this is almost as painful as 'cross and I never quit that. So I went back to the front and whined to my team hoping to get sympathy. I got none.With 2 laps to go the Local Shirks team drove hard at the front but didn't really bring back the break that much. Although they did launch a guy off the front who ended up catching the break somehow. Kudos to him for an amazing ride. With one lap to go every guy was trying to break away and of course no one is letting them with the finish a few miles away. I sat in and waited for the final "climb"/sprint. Moved my way up to the front when we hit the base. I think 2 guys got ahead of us at some point as I saw some guys pedaling way ahead of us. Then with 200m to go no one had made a move so I figured that if I sprinted now and got last place then at least I tried. So I hit it as hard as I could. My teammate grabbed my wheel. Two other guys were able to come around me right away but I was able to hold off everyone else including my stomach.All in all a fun race. Bad day for me. But worth another shot at it next year.Gratuitous pic of me about to collapse as I cross the line (that guy on my right really was trying to pip me for some reason. I gave it one more hard crank to hold him off)

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