Sunday, June 06, 2010

KY State Champs: Tour of Red River Gorge

Brutal day today at the Tour of Red River Gorge: Battle on the Bayou road race. This race was part of a three day omnium, and also served as the Kentucky State Championships.

I was a little nervous going in, as the profile looked pretty nasty, five big climbs and a ton of little rollers adding up to 91 miles and 9000+ feet of climbing. I was pretty sure that my climbing legs didn't have 9000 feet in them, but I was still up for the challenge.

Linnea went to the race with me to help out in the feed zones. We actually prepared pretty well by getting our bottles ready last night. They were bagged, tagged, and ready to go, chilling nicely in the fridge overnight. Unfortunately, that's were they remained, which we didn't realize until we were about 45 minutes from the race. Whoops!

Luck was with me and I was able to pick up five bottles at the race that were discarded the previous day. A quick wash and we were back in business.

The first 25 miles of the race were pretty uneventful. I think the bunch was a little hesitant to get rolling, due to the difficult terrain coming in the miles ahead. We rolled steady over the first climb and it was still groupo compacto minus-one as we hit the second climb.

Guys were definitely racing up the second climb, which was much steeper and slightly longer then the first. I rode my own pace and ended up slightly off the back with a group of five. We worked well together and caught the group a couple miles after the first feed zone, around mile 35 or so.

A couple miles later, with the peloton rolling pretty slowly, I launched a solo move into a rolling headwind section on open highway. No one bit and off I went. I was joined a couple miles later by Dan Campbell and one other, and we stayed away for the next 12 miles together, getting to the base of the third climb. My climbing legs weren't working as well as I'd hoped, and I popped off the break just after the start of the climb. Shortly after, the group caught me and spit me out the back, leaving a long, lonely ride to the finish. Lots more rollers, a bunch of rain, and open roads were all I saw for the next two hours. Made it to the finish in about 4:20, glad to be done for the day. All in all, good training but not the best race for me.

Linnea and I did have a fun time afterwards, hooking up with my good friend Marc and his girlfriend, Hillary for some sightseeing in the Gorge. The place is pretty sweet, I'll have to make another trip up there sometime. A quick stop for a post hike double cheeseburger and Blizzard from DQ and we were on our way home. Adios.

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