|Leaving work, yesterday|
I'll start with the 'Best': This has to go to the North East Continental Gentlemens Race hosted by the Rapha boys. The Gentlemans is a six man time trial for 124 miles. It's on road bikes but 65% of the course is off road over horrific terrain. It started in Hanover, NH by Dartmouth College and did a big loop through Vermont with 14,000 feet of climbing. The route is unmarked and unsupported. The only thing they give you is a Garmin and a Que sheet.
The Gentlemen's was the Best for a couple of reasons. First was for its toughness. Here's the video http://vimeo.com/45929937. Personally, I don't think Rapha shows how really hard the race was, but it's well produced esthetically and shows the experiential side really well. Great marketing.
I was talking with Kel about this last Monday in Providence. We both agree that to win it again will be much tougher. These style of events are exploding and more good guys want to win them...and we just had a fucking unbelievable ride...all six guys on our team were good & strong for the whole 8:15 hours. All six stayed on the rivet the whole way, which is rare in a race and terrain like that. We also only got lost once (good navigating) and had just two punctures. So we had a bit of good luck and the right six guys... all on form at the right time. That won't be easy to repeat. So winning the The Gentleman's is on the wall now (which is awesome) whether we repeat and win it ever again is a completely different story.
Now for the 'Worst'. I don't want to focus on this too much but I can say that there were many times this year where I was racing only halfheartedly. And that's a bad thing. There were reasons...mostly around personal 'heavy lifting' going on off the bike but the fact remains that in these moments, I raced/rode like a donkey and had my worst experiences.
The award for 'Worst' has to go to the Pro/1,2 crit in Naugatauk, CT. This is a tough 50 mile race with a bump in it that you have to go up 75 times (or something like that). It's in July, so it's always super hot and the course is New England jankie too...goes around this tired old factory and you have to dodge ugly raised manholes and crater sized pot holes. It's authentically hard and people drop out or crash out like flies. I've always liked it though The NYC guys come for it and I like their racing style for a change, and usually I do okay there but this year I had no fire or juice for it at all. The whole drive down there I thought about bailing and I should have. Early in the race I missed a huge break with everyone fast in it...and I missed it only because of my ...sh***y... attitude. At one point I got a little motivated and tried to bridge across but ended up just pulling people around...lap after lap like a cat 5. It was stupid and was the worst.
|Naugatauck CT. P12, (missed the break/marked trying to bridge)|
Peace and roll strong.