Last Saturday I contested the Bear Lake Classic, a 52 mile lap around Bear Lake up on the Utah/Idaho border. Its a beautiful place to ride. I spent 3 summers up there racing sailboats when we moved from San Diego. Before Saturday however, I had only ridden around the lake once. Its a mostly flat ride with just a few rollers on the east side. I knew the race would come down to a group sprint, so I was hoping to do well. Sprinting is one of my cycling strengths and I looked forward to a race with minimal climbing.
The race was fast, we averaged 25 mph +. Any attacks were quickly reeled in. About the half way point there was a crash. A guy right next to me clipped a tire in front of him and he went down taking out one of my teammates. I had a bad feeling about the dude who caused the crash the whole race. He and his team were all over the road, looking all around them. They would send a teammate on a break then the rest would bridge the whole group up to them! I couldn't understand what they were doing. Needless to say, I satyed away from those guys the best I could.
What it did to me though was make me not want to take my hands off my bars the rest of the race. I was so worried about crashing. There's nothing worse than the sound of carbob fiber breaking!
Heading into the fianl miles I was still feeling fresh however. A km from the finish there's a 90 degree right hander. I wanted to be the first 5-10 guys around that turn. I was probably there and saw a lane for myself. I hesitated to take it though, thinking I was too far out to start my sprint. In that hesitation I got passed, then cut off and had to break. I heard someone behind me go into the rocks and at that point I shut it down being so spooked about the crashes.
I ended up 16th, 4 seconds out of the lead. Chalk it up to inexperience I guess. At most road races the climbing has put me well out of the final push for the finish so I was in unfamiliar territory. I gald I was able to habg though and be a part of it. I was ready to do another lap of the lake so I'm content with my current fitness.
I'm taking a pre-planned break in my training this week. I have been reading more and more about a mid-season break that can do the bosy and mind some good. I've caught up on some sleep and neglected yard work this week, but I can't wait to hope on my bike.
I'll start a new training cycle on Monday. It will include some hefty high altitude climbing in the second week as I hit some favorite long climbs in the Sierra of California.
Now, forgive me for this rant, but what the HECK is Floyd Landis thinking?!?! I was so convinced he was clean and just got a bad wrap, but now the guy just looks crazy. He and Lemond should be roomates. Coming clean is one thing, but do you really have to bring everyone down with you? And should we believe your alegations? Were you lying then or lying now? He spent millions of his own, and more importantly his supporters money, on his defence. Wrote a book and now has some guilty conscience? Are you going to return the money you took from those people? How about giving money back to the publisher of your book? And I also want to see an apology on Jay Leno! I feel bad for the guy actually. I hope cycling can just move on. Those he accuses have never tested positive, so until that happens, just like I did for Landis, I'll continue to believe that my cycling heros are clean. Rant over.