Started in the saddle at 6:45a, wet roads and hopes to stay dry for the Tour de Fort Mill without getting too beat up by the big local team, who coincidently enough showed up with 11 guys this morning. The ride was actually tame. I threw in a couple of attacks on the hills to get the legs fired up, see who was paying attention and to keep the others on the defensive. Keeping my eyes peeled to MBotting and GStiel. Never know when those motors might go or put you in the pain locker. TFenig got the Doby Bridge sprint - go Tom. And MBotting wasn't feeling it today obviously because he didn't give it a go at Doby Bridge (the most significant hilltop finish on the route - about a 1/2 mile that starts with some elevation, levels off for a while with a slight pitch and then steps up again for the finish). And in the finale, MBotting decided to lead it out and I assume set up GStiel, but everybody got clustered because it almost seemed like nobody was going to jump and start their sprint (it usually starts 300 meters out or so). Today it probably got started 100 meters out. I got caught looking, but not for long, as GStiel and JHunter were the players. It looked as though Gordon had it, but he started fading quickly. Jeff jumped from Gordon's wheel to mine and just couldn't make the pass. Score! And as all Saturday bike rides should end, five of us headed for coffee and bagels in town - RGrier, DKeesler, RSmith, DEngle and myself. Gentlemen they are and great perspective on life. To home and 53 miles later...
Later that day and with the uncertainty of my riding for Sunday and Monday, my lovely wife gave me the green light to race in High Point this evening, so we packed the car and headed up North 1-1/2 hours. It was pouring when we left and was wondering how the weather would hold up in HP. I have a great wife!
Racing Masters 35+ and never know who will show up. We certainly have some powerhouses in the Masters field in the SouthEast. Unfortunately only 14 guys lined up. Threat of rain, holiday weekend, late start...who knows? 3 teams were in force and some individual contributors mixed in. RJenkins went from the gun with one follower, they came back, The Judge went and took three I believe (i thought all the teams were represented) and that was the move, but they couldn't organize and were brought back. RJ goes again with one and that is the move of the day. There were a number of vicious attacks in between. Another attack comes and I go with - guy from Carolina Bicycle (Michael) - that is the second move of the day. The Judge tries like hell to get away, but he is the most marked man in the sport and rightfully so. Both breaks are working together well and maintained their speed & distance, so there are the top 4 - racing for 5th is everybody else. WBixby gets Ryan at the finish, but Ryan certainly doesn't claim to be a sprinter, but has wicked horsepower so be careful of his ability to TT away from you. Michael and I worked great together until that last lap and all of a sudden we are playing, watching, waiting and get to the final turn and he jumps. I jump immediately not knowing how well he sprints. Lucky for me, I was able to close it down and come past for 3rd - again, no points. Good showing by Carolina Masters... 2nd, 3rd and 6th. On to Lexington BBQ for dinner - wouldn't miss it for the world if I am in the neighborhood.
All in a days work!