Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Duluth Classic Stage Race win
Well, I guess I was able to hang onto the GC after my performance erred TT. I can thank Lance Beuning, Dave Schueller, and Capt. Dan "Ghost" Casper for that one. These guys pulled out the work roles to help me protect the GC when there were teams with a few more guys than us. In the end, we took the GC overall, 3rd overall (Casper), and 2nd in the Sprint Competition (me). We had a 1st, 2nd, and two 3rd's in stage results. I had a chance to win stage two but had too far to the line to go. Timmer and Crosby came around and I had no more gas. Stage 3 saw Timmer set up the climb to the finish but we both got passed on the way to it. I tried hard to close the gap and threw it into the big ring. But, I couldn't get the momentum up to finish the job. In the crit. we tried to get Casper off late to see if we couldn't move him into 2nd overall. It didn't work since too many guys attacked out of the chase and his group didn't appear to be organizing. It was worth the shot though. In the end, Timmer and I jockied a bit in the last half of the lap until he punched it up the climb. I went with him and he took the win all the way to the line. Nobody had the kick up the hill to chase us.
Not all weekend is deidicated to racing. Dairy Queen, coffee, groceries, and Casper explaining how to maintain a 2% body fat while at Hell's Kitchen on Canal Park
As evident by the size of that sucker, there are some big ships coming into the Port of Duluth. Think that took some time to build?
stage races can get tough on the hotel room especially when laziness abounds. Laziness is good though. Rest. Hotel time is for pinning numbers, eating, watching the Giro, eyeing up the DQ across the way, wondering if there is any hard icecream somewhere instead, and hiding bike equipment for would-be break-in car thiefs.
In the end, it was a great race. It was good to see the field size grow over last year. Timmer and Synergy were bigger, Lance Niles and Brone's were in the field, Alex and the Nature Valley crew were in hand, Finken brought more big guns, and many others to fill out the field. You couldn't beat the weather. Maybe a little cold at times but compared to last year, perfect. I missed the Porto-potie's and we all learned to be clever in hunting down baseball fields, construction sites, and parks. The new crit course was fun and pretty safe. All in all, a great time.
Racing in the Midwest local scene can be pretty enjoyable compared to other regions. Sure, there are bigger races but is is not always about that. Tone has worked hard putting Duluth together plus there are just some good guys coming to have a race. While Quad Cities may be the big regional race at the time, I just don't feel like getting involved in the suspect hoopla that clearly surrounds those events. To some, that is racing. To some it is a challenge and the experience (that is what it should be), To me, it seems it is the all-for-nothing hunt for a result for the winners. If that is the case, it is not racing. It is selfishness. Duluth can be a fair and square race with laugh and stories at the end. Ya ya, sounds corny, but did you ever get on a bike not to have fun? If so, rethink what you are doing.
Thanks Team Grandstay and to all the other racers and volunteers in Duluth. It was a great time.
Next up, East Union and a new stage in the training season. Ciao -Ian