On the Road: August (and the greatest song lyric ever)
AUGUST 31 2011 1:28PM BY BEN B
It's been a while since I sat down and got all blog up in this piece, so this installment of "On the Road" serves as a recap to the month of August spent with TBS Racing.
Act One: Tour de Millersburg
The big stage race for this month was the Tour de Millersburg, set in the scenic Amish countryside of Pennsylvania (and only about twenty minutes or so from Three Mile Island). Originally this race wasn't on our radar as we were planning on doing the Tour of the Catskills, but as the season progressed, most of us felt like we were not in the top form needed to make a good run there, so we called an audible and made the trek to Millersburg instead.
This place really knows how to put on a race! Super well-organized, volunteers everywhere and good crowds made for a fun experience. As far as the actual race was concerned, day one started with a 9.5 mile morning time trial. Out and back with a decent finishing climb just to smack you in the mouth a bit. Based on earlier times, low 20's was going to be the sweet spot. I was first to go for the entire cat 4 field, which sort of blows since I don't have any kind of carrot out there in front of me, so I just went for it. 21:34. Was pretty happy with that until I started to hear other times and eventually that would put me in 12th place. Did I mention I need a real TT bike?
The afternoon handed us a big fistful of "in your mouth" in the form of the crit. This was pretty heavy stuff. Pretty tight corners with two climbs that just red-lined the entire field from the gun. It was pretty much "clip n' go" at the start and I found myself at the back. I remember at one point cresting the climb after turn two and seeing the field of almost 50 guys strung out all the way down the road with guys already going around turn three. This wasn't a short section, either. Ok, I'm screwed, so I have to go into scramble mode and slowly hop from one group to the next as rider after rider started becoming detached from the lead group. Not sure how I pulled it off, but I ended up on the back of the lead group which consisted of about 12 guys. Everyone else was gone. I think more than half of the field got pulled by the end of the race. So here I am, felling pretty good about myself that I managed to make the selection by just about blowing myself up and just then I hear the voice of the Wizard, a.k.a. Coach Pete: "OK Ben, time to do some work! Get to the front!". Balls. We were inside 10 to go so I sacked up, went to the front, did a monster pull. And then blew up. Luckily I managed to help Vince and Adam bring back the couple danglers who were off the front, and then Vince sprinted in for 4th, Adam 10th. I finished with Tim (who rode an amazing race) in 12th. Pretty sure this was the hardest crit I think I've ever done.
Day two was the road race. Not a course that really suits me all that well, it was fairly flat (I'll call it "rolling terrain") with a greasy-fast finish into the middle of town. As we rolled through countryside, I spent most of my time at the back, whipping up all of the Amish families sitting by the roadside watching into a frenzy. These could be the best bike fans ever. I was fairly spent from the day before and I knew that Adam would need my help at the end of the race, so I laid low for the most part. Nothing happened in this race at all. Hardly any attacks and a pretty comfortable pace. So there we are coming down the main highway which leads us back into town and Tom gets word from the motorcycle official that the road will open up at 2k to go. Waiting...waiting...and then the motorcycle pulls ahead and the official signals with his hand. Tom, Tim and I were the only ones looking for it...we immediately came from the back to the front full gas starting the mass sprint of 50 guys from way out. Making the turn into town, I still managed to stay in the front 10 guys with Scudi and Vince just ahead of me and we were hauling ass. I had a great line through the last corner, but it was a drag race from there as I held my position all the way to the line. 11th. Vince managed 6th with Scudi in 10th.
After the dust settled, Vince managed 3rd in the GC. I ended up in 7th. Not too bad considering how I felt.
Act Two: East Aurora Road Race and Rice Hill BBC Road Race
Here's a "straight to the point" recap of these races...
East Aurora: I attacked on the last climb and blew myself up. I ended up in 9th. Lame.
Rice Hill: I attacked on the last climb and didn't blow myself up. I ended up in 1st. Rad!
I only have one thought/observation for this installment:
- On the way to Millersburg, we figured out the one word that you can sing and make fit into any song: "cocaine".
I'm sick of typing, so that is it for now.
Next stop: Tour of the Great Niagara?
TAGS: Adam Trost, BBC Training Series 2011, Ben Barnhardt, East Aurora Road Race 2011, Rich Scaduto, Tim Bouchard, Tom Weichmann, Tour de Millersburg 2011, Vince Lorenz
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