Fun at Fitchburg

This weekend myself & Wick journeyed (sp?) to Fitchburg, MA for the 51st Longsjo Classic. A stage race consisting of 4 races: circuit, road, TT, and crit. Just like all other stage races there were time cuts to be made. What was cool is that this race was not only open to us Cat 4’s, but it was part of the NRC series, which meant several pro teams showed up as well, including Fly V Australia, Kelly Benefits, and Kenda. It was neat to see how they operated, and just how fast pros really are. The ciicuit race was i think 8 laps on a 3 mile course with a fast down slope on the back side, and a nasty short climb right at the finish. My hand still broken would not let me get out of the saddle for an extended amount of time (by extended, I mean a few seconds) which hurt in climbing. this was compounded with me on the 4th lap hitting a nice pothole/ mankole cover sending a streak of pain through my hand and arm. In doing this I fell out of touch with the group and continued solo. I regained my composure, and cycled on trying to pick up stragglers to work with me. Nobody could do it though. i finished in 57th at 5 minutes back, and went straight to the ice and ibuprofen.

The second day was the road race; an almost 11 mile loop that we would go around 4 times. We started out going great. I was in the front third of the group for the first lap, and kind of meandered around the middle on the second lap. Not tired or hurting, but just checking things out, and talking to people. This proved to be a mistake, as we descended down the front side of the loop, one of the, I’ll assume inexperienced, riders decided to get into full tuck in the middle of the group, not pay attention, go off the road, and eat the ground. I actually watched his handlebars seperate from his bike as he slid down the gaurd rail via his hip. His bike hit the gaurd rail, and kicked back out into the group taking the three guys to my left down to the ground. Pulling a move I can only attribute to Jerry Hadley, I bunny hopped the bike at 35mph. It was awesome, and I never ever want the chance to try it again. The downside to this, was once again my hand. The bunny hop wrenched the fractures around causing almost nauseating pain. I once again lost the group, and you know the rest. I finished at 10 minutes back. Not exactly happy about it. The funny part was as I passed people on the climb who were complaining, I would show them my taped up hand, and tell them to man up as I trucked on. It provided me with the motivation. By the way Wick finished this stage in 5th moving him to 8th in the GC

The third day was the TT. I had mixed feelings about today’s stage, as it is I hate TT’s. They are nothing, but a test of who operates the best under pain, in which you are inflicting said pain on yourself. The course was a short 8 or 9 miles of rolling terrain. The first 1/2 mile or so was a bit reminiscent of a Roubaix as the road was so bumpy and cavernous that many people fell out of the aero position. I did decent on this stage though. I tried to do well, but also conserve energy for the crit on the following day. I ended up 31st out of 65. Wick finished 18th moving him to 12th in the GC.

The last day was a crit in downtown Fitchburg, on a .9 mile loop in which we were to do 22 laps. I like crits for some reason. they are fun to me. This one though was scary. The third turn was at the bottom of a downward slope, and you reached doing mid 30’s to lower 40’s, and had to slow to low 20’s or slower if you were in the group to go through it. My hand was feeling pretty ok, and I didn’t even tape it up. We started with 60 riders making their way around the course. It seems that I tend to start in the back of the field, and through out the first few laps meander my way to the front. I’ve noticed this in several crits that I have competed in, and I should probably stop this as one of these days its going to bite me in the ass. The crit was fast, but chill. The field let one rider get off the front, and stay away with three to go, and I couldn’t stand to sprint with my hands in the drops, so I gave it all I had from the hoods, and came out in 10th. Pretty happy, broken hand and all. Wick finished the weekend 12th in the GC, and myself 44th. Wish I had been even 80 percent and I might have joined Wick. Oh well

Thanks to all the people of Fitchburg, MA for being so awesome. The fire department even let us use their showers after the last day of racing. I get to see the doctor tomorrow, and try to convince him not to put a full cast on my hand; not b/c of cycling, but b/c its been triple digits for the last week, and i know that thing will stink after a day of sweating in it. I hope to see everybody this coming weekend as we journey to the Piedmont Omnium in North Carolina. I’ll be the guy complaining about his hand.

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~ by shootthegap on July 6, 2010.

One Response to “Fun at Fitchburg”

  1. Great to have you in our humble little burg!

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