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 07/12/07 Nat'ls RR report 45-49 from Mark Cowin

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Number of posts : 132
Localisation : Berlin, NJ
Registration date : 2006-10-27

PostSubject: 07/12/07 Nat'ls RR report 45-49 from Mark Cowin   Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:29 am


I figured I'd at least take a moment/novel to report on the culmination of nat'ls week, the road race...

And the way the crit went, i had no plans that i would do anything but ride the road race as a tourist stopping at all the rest areas and taking in the sites as the field left me for dead... Don't get me wrong, i think i can climb sometimes, and then i realize i am 185 and get real.... Well, I lined up in the 45-49, trying to pretend/ mantra i was Bob J for the day, seemed to actually work as i began the race in the front third of the peloton and held position as we climbed relentlessly (they said the first climb was moderate, and the rest of the front 10K was down hill before getting to the loop...) The first climb was moderate compared to the rest of the day... I'll give them that... And the initial downhill was there (ALL 65+MPH of it with a 125 of my closest friends) The beginning went well for me, suffer the 185 BPM spike on the moderate hill and then get into the aero 65MPH position and stay away from the guardrails...
I told Ed before the race my only objective was to finish and beat a mambo just because they are from south jersey, and well ...I have my reasons...

SO we bombadiere down to the loop (19K of 1,144 of climbing every lap X 4) I proceed to get energized by the slightest mamabo move, and when Keith Davies decided it was his day to shine, it was game on baby...

I promptly reacted to his agressive move and went to the front EARLY, probably would regret it later, but i didn't care at the time as it was time to respond.

The first real climb on the loop is a short kicker very much like Mt. Joy's main hill...
The second climb might as well be in France... It's a doozie, about 3/4 mile and 20% in places...
The rest of the loop seems reasonable compared to that climb...(that hill hurts)
So this will be four laps of survival, THEN back to the finish on a climb that = 1,440' in less than 10K...Which was the initial downhill that we started on...
So i stayed in the mix through countless whittling down of the field, started 130+ and i believe the lead group was under 45 by the last loop lap... I somehow (cleanly-without epo) stayed in the mix and got to the last loop lap seeing Joe M make recovery after recovery, Lee M (mambo) call it a day/dnf, and the other mambo's Steve C and Keith Davies ride with the lead group taking turns looking at me like i was Ron S on steroids.... (sorry Ron, i do have a few pounds on you, but we get about the same reaction from the M squad... though mine is a bit of a mystery to me)
On the last lap, i am dreaming as i start to see only me, Larry towner, keith davies and NO one else from a New jersey team in the lead pack, i may have missed people, but i was starting to feel the moment was mine...
We enter the beginning of the big loop hill, and I (Ed hates this part of me) decide it's time to "take-off" and show this group I really wasn't the guy they used to beat-up in school...
OK, I do have more self-esteem than that (barely) but you get my point... I noticeably shift into a bigger gear and dance around the front of the group, i know I am going to blow up at the top but "Who cares" i want them to know it ain't going to be free... I get about a hundred yards off the front, before i figure i better check to see who that shadow on my wheel is..
It''s Thurlow Rodgers, and he ain't even looking the least bit stressed... His words... "NO words" he just is ready to drop my sorry ass any time he wants to... (he won the race by putting a minute on the field in the last 10K)
I was committed (or should have been) and went until I exploded on the top of that hill. I could not recover enough to hang and then proceeded to fade over the last 15K which included the 1,440 of vertical that i somehow had forgotten about... I limped back thinking, wow, i rode pretty good...
However, just to remind me that racing is until the finish line, Steve C from Mambo's rolled along side in the last 1K and promptly smoked me on the final ascent to the line...
In the end, I got my goal of a finish, (66 out of 133 @ 2:46:36 and 20:00 off winner) and at least 1 Mambo in arrears... However, as you all probably know racing is very dynamic and when looking for placing... ride within yourself. I doubt I'll absorb that anytime soon, but that's me.... (sorry captain)

I am happy/spent either way, my first trip to nat'ls and a really cool result.

Beats work....

I did hear that Ryan H competed in the 35-39 cat RR and congrats to him on the finish in that tough field!

See ya in NJ soon...

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07/12/07 Nat'ls RR report 45-49 from Mark Cowin
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