I just got home from another weekend of collegiate racing Grand Junction. It's actually my last weekend of collegiates for the year as I will be leaving next weekend for the Gila. I normally ride like crap in Grand Junction for some reason, and Saturday was no exception. I felt as flat as I have all year, and was feeling pretty down after the road race, but today's crit made up for it and then some.
The road race was a 3 hour and 20 minute suffer-fest around and over the top of some of the mesa's that surround Grand Junction. I stuck with the main group the whole time, but felt like I just couldn't push the pedals. I'm usually pretty motivated to suffer, but when you're suffering just to stay with a group that are riding slow, it's a whole different world. I ended up finishing 14th, which is the best Collegiate Road Race finish I've had, but I feel like I could have been in the mix had I felt like I have in the last few races I've done. I think I felt so blocked, because of my riding or lack-thereof last week, but live and learn I guess. Hopefully the rest will do me some good in the long run and I'll be flying next week.
The crit today was on an awesome course. A true criterium course that is pancake flat with a couple of fast straight's, 4 90 degree corners, and one 360 degree traffic circle. It was a short course and I was hoping everyone would be a little relaxed the first half, and maybe I could get into a move that would go somewhere early, but it turned out to be the exact opposite. It was probably the fiestiest crit I've been a part of, and after the first 30 minutes, I thought I was going to get shot out the back. I worked too hard the first part trying to get away, covering every move, and then I realized nothing was going to stick, so I sat back. A break went away for 5 or 6 laps, so I waited for the counter, thinking the chase might have worn a few people down, but my counter lasted a lap and a half, so once again I sat back. A few more attacks went and came back, until 2 FLC kids went and got a good gap. A couple kids started to bridge, but I saw them split up, so I attacked through the 4 corner part of the course, and got a little gap with another FLC kid. He pulled through and helped me reach the 2 who were originally in the break, and we picked up 1 more FLC kid on our way. So, with 5 laps to go, I was in a group with me, and 4 Fort Lewis kids. I tried to work as hard as I could so they wouldn't start attacking me early, and they ended up staying together until the final 4 corners before the finishing straight. I surged a little on the backside with 2 corners to go, then waited and made one of their kids come by. We came out of the last corner going pretty slow, but I heard all kinds of gears shifting behind me, so I jumped hoping I could catch the wheel when it came by. I managed to catch the second guy who came by, and held that position to the line.
I'm happy with my finish, but I hate how after a race, all you can think about is, "what if I would have done this?" or "could I have done that?" Oh well. I got 3rd, and I'm content with that. I finished this collegiate season much more successfully than I did last year, so that's a good thing. I didn't manage to pick up any collegiate wins, but at least I have something to shoot for next year. Now I just need to focus on finishing up school, then tearing apart the Gila. Thanks for checking in, I'm sure this update put most of you to sleep.