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, August 31, 2006

Diamond Valley Road Race in Reverse - 1 lap - I WON !

It's still hard to believe it but I finally won a race!

We raced the Diamond Valley race in reverse and only did one lap due to the failing light at the end of the season. The first half of the race seemed like it would be down hill but it was much tougher than I expected, particularly due to the wind.

I guess there were around 10 riders in the C group, with Jeff, my main competition as usual (though I have learned not to underestimate any of these guys).

We started a little slow. I thought I could ride faster so I tried to make an early break. I messed up my gears in a really stupid way and pretty soon the pack were back with me. During the first 4 miles I had a couple of tries to get away but I could tell from the long shadows that people were with me. The surprising thing was that it seemed to be anybody's race for a long time. Every time I looked back i saw a different face.

At one point Scott said, 'let's go' and as he came past I was disappointed to see him pulling a train of 4 other riders!

Finally on a little climb preceeding a big descent someone went for it but not especially hard. I went after this guy in the purple top and then as we headed downhill Corrie flew past us.

Turning the tight left onto the climb Corrie later told us he had the bike well leaned over to make the turn. The guy behind him actually missed the turn and ended up in the dirt, doing well to hold on and rejoin the race.

As we climbed the Carson River Road, Jeff was doing a lot of leading the pack. Eventually I looked back and realised there were only 4 of us in the main pack - Jeff, Jennie (looking very fresh), the purple shirt guy and me. I was hurting and tired, I thought I'd be lucky to get 5th place. My early attempts at making a break had cost me dear. Jeff and Jennie both looked extremely strong. I wasn't sure about Purple Jersey but he was worth keeping a careful eye on.

We climbed and climbed. I tried to take a turn at the front but Jeff raced me as I tried it so I fell back. As we neared the end the Purple Shirt guy got out of his saddle to pass Jeff with about 300m to go. Jeff responded by climbing out of his saddle too. Still in my saddle I realized I was staying with them so I kept pedalling. Pretty soon I was on Jeff's wheel. He seemed to pull over and let me by but I don't think he would give up a place so readily so perhaps he peaked too soon. As I headed for the line I realized I could catch the other guy too, by staying in my saddle and pedalling fast. So I did. I past him and perhaps had 10ft on him by the time I crossed the line to win my first race of the year.

People congratulated me on my finish, which was well received! Garth said, "Exquisite Finish". I later learned he'd won his first one too (in the A's). The asthma was giving me a bit of a problem at the end but winning was sweet! The whole season Mel has told me to hold off my sprint until late. For the first time I finished right, a bit like Scott did on a previous Diamond Valley Race.

As the last race of the season we headed out for Pizza at the end (after a 10 mile lap of honour). Awesome! What a nice crowd. I'm very pleased I spent $100 to change my flight so I could race tonight!!!!

I'm still not 100% sure but I think I have won the race series in the C group this year. I'm pretty thrilled about that - it's not something I'll ever forget.


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