Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Diamond Valley Road Race

A windy afternoon to be doin a couple of laps around the 11 mile Diamond Valley loop.

The race started fast and I felt that my inexperience was not helping to keep the pack together. After a few minutes I had stepped it up and we were all together again for the Carson River Road descent. I managed to stay tucked in and relaxed and started to try and sit up to use the wind for braking instead of my brakes. Using brakes in the pack can be unsettling.

The descent ends at a Stop sign, followed by a right turn and a sharp hill climb. Last race I got dropped by the pack here so I worked hard to make sure that didnt happen again. I took the corner a little faster (the crit racing has improved my cornering) and I got moving quickly towards the bottom of the climb. Staying with the pack I managed to get up the first climb, puffing heavily and thinking it not good to let the competition know I was struggling. The second climb was easier. Dropping down the back we got a paceline working and hauled it into the wind.

The second lap felt easier, especially the climbs. Into the wind again and another paceline. A few miles from the end I began to wonder how the finish would go. The paceline was still working but at some people people would stop circling and then would be a good moment to get a good position.

About a mile out, the paceline stopped and the race was on. At first it seemed just about position. One of the slower riders made an early break for the front and a couple of us followed. The smart racers pulled in behind us! We picked up the pace as we neared the last hill and then the finish line. For some time we were riding 3 across at the front. I heard later that the guy on my right had tried to stand in the saddle but his leg gave out. All I knew was that Andrew and Allan cruised past me about 200m from the line. Then Scott appeared. He had apparently been on my wheel for a while. He had a sprint left and got his wheel over the line before Andrew and Allan. Very impressive timing. From where I was sitting i thought he'd come in third but no, he'd got first place.

I came in 4th. 1 place up from my last Diamond Valley race. Satisfying to make an improvement but I'm looking for a win now. Though I am working towards this mainly by 'hoping' rather than putting in hours on the bike, so I hardly deserve a win!

Back to Scott's for a couple of beers at the end.


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