My legs were shot going into Salt Creek. The effort on Saturday tore me up pretty good. It seems like a pretty good sign that I need more miles in my legs before Joe Martin.
The field included virtually all the heavy hitters from Cow Skin, plus Brad Huff and a few other fresh faces. Seeing a great bike handler like Brad zig and zag through guys in the field before shooting off the front is quite an experience. There were a few early moves but nothing substantial. It appeared as though a lot of guys were just as tired after Cow Skin as I was.
I was never very comfortable on the downhill sweeping left turn. It was rough, covered in gravel, and fast. For the first few laps I moved to the back in order to stay out of everyone's way. The wind was blowing in such a way that any gap would almost automatically get closed up at the bottom and it was easy to move into better position at just about any part of the course.
I took a few solo digs to see if the field would counter attack and help get a few of our guys off the front, but it didn't work. Joey Mesa went on a solo move and got quite the gap on the field. I told the rest of the team that I would jump when Joey was caught and we would just keep trying to have a guy off the front until the winning break got away.
It never came to that. Brad Huff and some others attacked. Joey, who was a good distance up the road from the main field still, was ready for them and he got in their group. The main pack got pretty close to the break at one point, which is when I should have crossed the gap. I honestly was still thinking that the break would get caught and that effort would be wasted. Plus I don't know if I had the legs for it. I think a few other guys were able to bridge into Joey's group, but I missed out on all the opportunities for a free ride.
Joey did a great job. The break included at least 10 of the fastest guys in the race and they kept trying to shell each other the entire time. Eventually a group of 3 got away from the rest of the break. Joey ended up finishing strong. That is 3 top 10 finishes in the first 3 p/1/2 races of the season for Undiscovered.
A group of about 6 got away from our group. We were racing for spots outside of the money, which is actually pretty fun this time of year because you have nothing to lose. It's all just about gaining fitness and experience. Brad Cox got away in a group of 6 or so. With a lap and a half to go his rear tire started going flat. I tried to bridge to their breakaway, but got their just as the guys were shutting it down. I decided to keep my momentum going to see how long I could hold the group off, so I just went on by them on one of the short climbs. I got caught with a little over 1k to go. I hung on as long as I could, but the solo effort blew me up. I think I ended up about 6th in the field sprint.
Total Time - 1:29:34
Time Not Pedaling - 29 minutes
Average Power - 241
Normalized Power - 297
My next race will be NWA Spring Classic. It should be a good race for our team. After that I'll be staying local until Joe Martin. Between skating and cycling last year it felt like I was sleeping in hotels as often as I was sleeping at home. I love racing, but I hate being away from my wife every weekend. It looks like there are a couple new races on the calendar for Oklahoma this spring, so it looks like I'll be able to race without traveling as much as last season.