Thursday, December 17, 2009

Daniel's Trip to Kentucky

RRG 2009 
I was lucky enough to be able to go down to Kentucky this year and race at the only international junior race in America. I had a lot of mixed feelings in this race. Going into it I was super excited, and really focused. I also had a great team with me going out, with a few extra riders from California thrown into our group. Going into this race, I knew the courses suited my style of riding. I also think I perform better in races that have a higher pace, compared to those races that are more of a ride to the last 10k. Because this had such a high number of top competitors, I knew the pace would be higher. 
The first race was the prologue, which lasted about 2 min. I under paced the course, and ended up mid field somewhere. My teammate Charlie, however, had a good day, and won, taking the yellow jersey. Going into the second stage, I had to protect Charlie’s yellow jersey. He wanted me and a few of the other breakaway artists to go up ahead and take away the time bonus slots on the course. That way he would have a good chance of holding onto the lead until the time trial. I ended up breaking away early in a two man break with the soon to be road National Champion. He and I held a 1-3 min lead until a few miles after the first KOM point. That is when a group of about 6 other riders joined us. After being in a two man break for a while, I was tired, but I knew I had to hang on to try to get rid of some of the time bonuses. I managed to get in the top five in the sprint point, and again, knew I should hang on for the last KOM of the stage, and maybe even go for the final sprint. Right about now I ran out of the water I grabbed from Craig, and was calling for a car to bring up some. Unfortunately, the officials thought that the road was too narrow from then on to the finish to bring cars through. I was stuck with a sip or two for 20 more miles. Right around then, the group split up, and ended up weeding down the group to a total of six riders. I ended up dropping off at the last KOM, and within the last four miles loosing 3 min and being caught by the pack. This stage taught me to always bring extra water. I also realized how much better later breakaways are than going off from the beginning. Early breakaways = pain. 
The next stage was my most unlucky stage ever. I started off the stage tied for third on the KOM classification. My goal was to get top placing on the first two KOM points. That never happened. I ended up getting a flat in the first 10 miles. Billy quickly changed it, and I caught back on soon enough. Before I could move to the front, I ended up crashing. I got up and going in a few seconds, and tried to chase back on again. This was harder than the last time, and I felt I couldn’t catch back up until we turned unto the next section of downhill. That did not happen though. I ended up crashing again, due to a rider with me freaking out when hitting a rock on the road. I took me a good minute to get up from that crash. I was in a lot of pain, and my top tube was broken. I still wanted to at least finish the stage so that I could help out in the crit the next day. I ended up riding for another 25 miles until I was sure I couldn’t make the time cut. It wasn’t all bad though. I got some good experience in the caravan, and learned to keep chasing. Unfortunately all my chasing that day ended up getting me nowhere. Sometime in the future it will help out though. 
-Daniel Tisdell

No comments: