Whew, after powering out of St. Cloud on Sunday from the Minnesota State Crit, Tim Mulrooney, and teammate Dan Casper and I bolted back to Minneapolis to unpack our vehicles and repack for the USA Cycling Masters Championships in Louisville Kentucky. With the HED Cycling van packed tight we jetted out of town.
We made it to Madison for the night and stayed at the Grandstay. Off in the morning we made it to Louisville in time to pre-ride the TT course, get checked into our motel, and get registered. Next up, dinner. Upon recommendation, we ate at Ramsi's on Bardstown Road. Lets just say we went back.
Timmer and Casper did their 40-44 road race. I skipped the 35-39 race because it was an early morning race. Looking back, I should have did it. Anyway, the 40-44 field was pretty big and had about 100 riders. They rolled it out quick on the technical Cherokee Park circuit loop. From what I observed, Minnesotans know how to race. Casper and Tim made it through the first selection and made it into the final groups. Casper found himself in the first chase group, and Timmer in between the first and second chase group. Casper was clearly the power in his group and they would not organize to help close the 5-10 second gap. In the end, the breakaway misunderstood what lap they were on and continued around the course again. This left the winner to come from the Casper group. Being that they did not know what just took place they sprinted for position. Casper was second and took second in his Masters Age class. While there was controversy I believe that as a rider you should know how many laps you have done, how many miles you have done, and know when to finish. Did the officials screw up? Yep. But, so did the riders. Congrats to Dan.
Timmer went to finish for a top ten and got crashed by a heads-down sprinter about 14cm from the line. Timmer got out lucky since he slammed his head enough to crush his helmet. But, he reactivated an old back injury and would have to deal with that in the next days time trial.
The time trial was friendly to some Midwesterners. I took second in my age class, Gerry Finken in his (4/10ths of a second from the win....errr). Nice hats!
Gordy switched steps a few times to find his finishing spot after USA Cycling Officials revealed no spines and reversed a road officals call after the 15 minute protest period was over. While first and second are strong time trialists they broke the rules, cried to the officials, and used their seniority to get their steps back. Poor sports. They didn't deserve to be in this photo.
Finken on the second place step. He even dropped his chain in the time trial. He will win next year. Nice hat!
I too took a seond place step. Peter Cannell started as my 30 second man so I had the advantage of having him in my sights. On the first 1-mile climb I took back 7 seconds on him but then he killed me on the downhill. I thought cadence may have been an issue so I matched his. Still, he pulled away. Over the next few climbs I pulled the gap back to our starting 30 seconds before the turnaround. I f-ed up the turnaround and that cost me 5 seconds. I chased up the back climb and had the right gap. However, on the next big downhill he pulled away again and this time it was too big to get with what was left on the course. In the end he got me by 28 seconds. Can I beat him? Hell yes. Another time, another course, another day. I was rolling at about 90%. I felt tired and perhaps hungry after our 2-hour starting delay. The Trek TTX was perfect, the Hed Jet 9 and the Hed Jet C2 Disc were fast. In the end I think maybe a tri-spoke and a 56T front chainring. I have more power than could have been used on the downhills that I wasn't able to get to. He was on a Hed Stinger 9 and disc so I knew he had fast wheels too.
I was ready for the time trial. Not nervous at all. I just came a little more tired than I would have preferred.
Timmer rode a good time trial but was, and probably still is, in pain with the crash injuries. Casper put in a great time but had an age group with some speed demons. Plus, he may have burned a few matches in the road race but I doubt it. We are talking about Casper here.
We hung out for awards, Timmer and I discovered we were in a dry county, we loaded up, and made it back to Madison and the Grandstay. From there we finished off the drive home.
Good ride, great travel partners, and a great place to race in Louisville, KY. Thanks to HED Wheels, Steve and Anne HED, Dino, Paully, and Timmer, Grandstay and Matt Williams, and my teammates. I have one more big TT at the end of the month for the Elite Championships. The fire is burning! Now the Tour de France! Ciao -Ian