This is a bad idea. This is a real bad idea. That's all I was thinkin' when the alarm went off at 2:45 am. After racin' yesterday I was feelin' pretty cooked. Did I mention I was out to 1:00 am at a wedding Friday night? I was already in "shut down" mode for the 2007 season, and today was the last gasp. So I got outta bed, got some coffee and headed to the shop to meet Jason, Ryan, Richie, and Dennis. Jason had two great ideas last night; he figured he could squeeze five of us, our gear, and our bikes into his mini-van; and he had a new "short cut" to get to Prospect. I packed a map, I knew how this would end. I was kinda surprised how easily he managed to squeeze us into the van with two bikes in the back and three on the carrier on the back. All we had to do was all exhale at once, climb in, and close the doors. Ryan graciously climbed into the "lantern rouge" position in the back seat and left the rest of us guys with a little leg room. Thank God nobody had gas, it woulda been ugly. So we're on our way and decide to follow the new "short cut". To keep things short, we missed our exit (very poorly marked), got directions from an officer, got lost again, attempted to communicate with the locals (bad idea), and still managed to fumble our way to Prospect Park easily on time.
Jason was doin' the 1/2/3 (60 miles, small field of maybe 40), Dennis the Cat 5 (28 miles, 30-35), Richie the 35+ (45 miles, 35 guys), and me and Ryan the 3/4 (38 miles, 60-70 riders). I love Prospect for a lot of reasons, you're back home early (unless somebody does something stupid like wins or places and we gotta hang around and get paid), it's a great course, and you get good mileage. Dennis unfortunately ended his extensive Cat 5 career with a flat 1 1/2 miles from the finish, he was in the lead group of (12) and would have surely placed (no more cherry pickin'! get that upgrade paperwork in!).Richie pulled a nice 12th out of very aggressive 35+ field; sprinting with the front bunch. Jason put in a great effort, finishing 6th in a very broken up 1/2/3 race; he's back! They came in all blown apart in groups of one, two, and three; usually the sign of a very hard race.
In our race (all of the races are on the road at the same time at Prospect, so can't watch the other races)we started out with a coupla fast early laps. An early break of five guys including Ryan took off and I thought they were gone. They were out of sight in no time, but apparently two of the guys were weak and after several laps it all came back. About five laps in the 35+ guys caught us (they started a minute or two behind us). They got past and we were stuck behind the pace car for about a lap until a decent gap built up (fine by me). There were the usual small attacks, a mix of fast and slow laps, and with about 3 or 4 laps to go another 5 man break including Ryan got away and this one stuck. As Ryan re-capped, he dropped all but one other rider and the two of them were looking to solo into the finish. They weren't paying attention and with 300m to go a rider from a small chase group shot across and blew by, almost stealing the show. Ryan re-acted, grabbed his wheel, and blasted by for the win. The next group of five came in and our group, now whittled down to about (20) set up for the sprint. Team Organic had three guys on the front and I weaseled my way on to their train. The guy "on point" started gettin' antsy as an attack came up on the left side and jumped way to early at 400m. I decided to stay on their wheel and the whole bunch of us died with 200m to go and the rest of the pack flew by. So a decent effort, but no placing. Definitely an impressive win by Ryan, his best (in my opinion) to date.
So that pretty much wraps it up for the season. I'm taking 10-14 days totally off the bike. I plan on getting a lot of sleep, eating a spot-on perfect diet ( at least for two weeks), and letting my body completely re-cover from the rigors of a long season. I can't remember the last time my legs didn't hurt. I did manage to nail down the "50/50" ( 50 races at age 50) , get five top tens (best finish 4th), and get the much
coveted Cat 3 upgrade. A decent if not spectacular season. I'll re-cap the team's results at some point, but it was somewhere around 30 wins, well over 100 top tens, and no serious injurys (Steve Moore got the worst of it, but he finished strong). I'll set a date with-in the next week for an end of season get together.
Only 15 weeks till Branchbrook!