Altogether a good weekend of racing during the Tucson Bicycle Classic again this year. After being a bit negligent of the numerous opportunities to ride this winter, and exercising an altogether avoidance of the rollers, it was good to get out and race with a cat 4 group of about 70 riders who, judging by their tans, have already been on the road quite a bit this year. Either that or there has been some kind of sale on tanning beds in Tucson this year. Anyways, the TT on Friday was windy, and there were brief showers on and off for most of the day. Due to the shorter course I raced on my road frame with a disc wheel, and that seemed to work fine. I finished 41 seconds faster than my time from last year, so even with finishing in the middle of our group, I was happy with my ride.
For the road race the typical Tucson sun and heat was back on, and I was glad to have the San Remo suit. The group was pretty twitchy to start (tanning beds have been shown to have neurological side effects on lab rats) . There were three good pile-ups within the first two laps of the six we were rode, luckily I was in front of them all, and Beau was able to escape with a close shave. Considering the lack of training this winter, I was happy with my fitness. I was able to stay with the front of the group, and was able to follow Beau’s advice of not working any harder than I needed to, until the end of the 5th lap I ended up in front of the group and in a position to be pulling where I should have been sitting in. After a short break with a few other riders we were caught and passed by the group and I didn’t have the legs to catch back on and spent the finial lap chasing. It was a better road race experience racing with the 4’s this year, and the race proved that the other racers in our group actually had been out riding, not resting in the UV beds. The El Groupo riders had a strong showing, and a very vocal coach, so I spent a lot of the race listening to him give advice to his younger riders.
After a good night’s sleep it was back out to the circuit race on Sunday. We started out the first two laps at a moderate pace and mostly stayed together, with the pace picking up in the third. The group split by the end of the third lap, I was keeping good pace up until that point, but eventually fell of the back and spent the fourth lap casing by myself out in no man’s land between the front group and the chase group. By the start of the fifth lap I caught back on to the front group and the chase group had caught as well. Again it was a great opportunity to test the early season strength, and learn that I could have raced that lap smarter by waiting for the chase group and would have ended up in the same position. The final lap was fast with 4 riders breaking off the front. I was able to keep up with the main pack and am happy with my efforts.
Huge thanks to Colavita and our other sponsors! It was great to get out and race and kick up the excitement for a spring full of racing. Next up is the Adoption Exchange, let’s get a strong Colavita group out to Albuquerque April 4-6!