Chequamegon. This was my first attempt depite years of racing. With lackluster results last year, my attempt into the preferred start got laughed at. You can see me here in the picture. Can't see me? Look at the white/blue helmet towards the right in preferred start. That guy with his back to the camera, number 1700 with a white helmet and red/blue'white jersey, is me. Squint hard and you can totally see my bulging muscles getting ready to try for a top 100 placing (my goal).
That morning I woke to bad stomach pains. Judging by the feelings I had and what my body was producing I was sure I got food poising of some sort. It seemed to subside enough for the start. The road start was not as bad as I thought it would be. Not as fast, but almost as sketchy. When we went off pavement and hit the grass I was well positioned in the top 30-50 riders. I was in the top ten in the line I took into the grass. That is the exact time my chain popped off and got lodged in the crank. After 1-2 minutes I got going again, but not before many, many, many people passed me. Between there and the end of Rosies field I would guess I passed close to 80-100 riders. I had to go through the thick grass, so it took a lot out of me. I spent the rest or the time picking off riders (all in the harder lines). I had started with my teammate "Sugardaddy" and was wishing I could have ridden with him through much of the race, but my mechanical stopped that. Well, at about mile 24ish I caught him and we did just that. He got hung up on firetower climb while I did not and I did not see him again until the finish. My legs had started to feel better then after some early cramps had been trying to find there place in my legs. I spent the last ten miles plugging away and catching more riders. I caught my friend Josh Shivley just before the finish and I nipped him (he was riding a single speed though) at the line for 80th place. I completed my goal, but only wondered what could have happened had my chain been more cooperative.
Here is a picture of Gary Crandell when he heard I finally was going to do his big race.
And a picture of Chris "my other bike is old" Fisher at the start. He has got his "I'm gonna get 14th place" face on.
A picture of Mark "man Charly is fast" Consugar. He's on firetower, amazed I can get up despite the fact I am "heavy".
Oh, and race winner Jeremy "thank God Charly and Doug got mechanicals" Horgan-Kobolski. He attacked as soon as he saw my mechanical. He was racing for keeps I guess.
Tomorrow I'll let you now about how I killed in the Cable Crit.
I'd like to give a shout out to those I know that could not cross the finsh line due to many reasons. Please, a moment of silence for:
Tiffany and Mark Walter
The Moore Brothers
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you in your time of sorrow.