Colossal Cave Road Race
This classic Tucson road race was less intense for me this year than in recent prior years and in some respects more enjoyable for that reason. I really didn’t do any training per se for this race. It was simply my Saturday maintenance ride, and overall was a bit less intense that the Saturday DOGs ride I typically do. Nevertheless, once I depart the start line it has my full attention, and I do want to win it. As it turns out within the “old guy” racing sector, you get to know your competitors quite well; their strengths, their weaknesses, when they will attack, when they will hide, finish line behavior, etc. Such knowledge is good and bad, of course, and is inevitable. I knew going in that, if Jack Dillon were with me at the Finish, he would most likely outsprint me so I did bump the pace up Pistol Hill every lap to try and hurt him, ultimately to no avail. He was there for the last lap climb and, although I did briefly gap him he got his steam up and rolled by me comfortably at about 80m. I had been anaerobic since 300m and could do nothing about it. Even worse, I eased off on the pedals as he went by from the disappointment and another rider (Michael Patterson fr NYC) snuck by before I realized he was indeed in my race group. Holey Moley Batman! I jumped on the pedals but did not pass him until about 4 ft after the finish line. The brain fart (perhaps the result of a recent brain injury?) cost me 2nd place and I ended up 3rd.
Some noteworthy race nuances: We caught up to the Cat 5s lap 1 and see-sawed back and forth with them for most of the race. My race group M55/65/70 fractured on lap 2 with Jon Roberts (M55) going off the front solo and holding it to the finish, and the M65/70 guys actually pulling away from most of the M55 guys for the rest of the race. On lap 3 (I think) we actually caught up to the M45 guys and I had the opportunity to pat Rich Horn on the back and ask what they were doing dropping back to ride with the really old guys. I was thinking “is this lazy-assed, or what?” I was actually in the M45 peloton with Jack Dillon (of course) and about then our guys started yelling at us that we couldn’t draft the M45s and had to let them go. That seemed odd to me, given our admixture with the Cat 5s for most of the race, but we let them go and dropped back with the rest of our group.
Oh well……on to the next one.