Steve Heaton M35 crush
Where to begin? First I need to get it out…………..I’m SUPER disappointed with my placing.
My race started with a 4 man break leading into the first prime. We let them go thinking they would sit up for climb but didn’t. we had attacks and counter attacks on first 2 climbs on Stage rd (I had no problems) then pushed a good fast tempo pace on 84. I positioned myself in feed zone to hold a front position for the main climb knowing this was going to be a decision maker for me. We hit it at 15mph for a few minutes then 13mph until half way I settled into 11mph(this was my limit I could hold the distance). I watched them slip away then made a surge the last 500m to join a group of 5 to chase back and that we did before the bottom. OK I can handle that is what I was thinking. Again no problem over the climbs on stage rd & out 84 and was able to hold any position with ease. I made a few turns at the front to feel it out and had no issues(NO CRAMPING). Going into the feed on second lap I pushed over and had a lead so I used the distance to help me on the final climb and it did allow me to make it further but still got dropped. My hopes were to make it close enough that I could dig extra deep and make it with group(no dice) and ended up hammering the DH, railing the turns and sprinting out of every corner (Don’t tell Michele)and passed a couple of cars along the way (I felt great). Once at the bottom I had a group of 4 roll up on me and we worked to chase. Three of the guys were climbers who couldn’t hold a fast enough pace for the chase we needed to catch the pack and then it was over! We rolled into town and the group softened I noticed a group ahead and hit it hard to shake the spirit ( I don’t care – I’m not going to let up, I don’t race that way) It turns out it was Michele’s group. We rolled past them and up the road was a Tripper? It was Michele on her own I roller up to her and said “ a sight for sore eyes” what a cool feeling seeing my wife racing in the same race. We charged on and attacked the stage climbs, pushed hard on 84 and once we hit final climb I jumped out of the corner and launched a big gap and tried to hold them off. I didn’t want to hold the climbers pace as I knew it could crack me so I wanted to attempt to crack them. I held them off most of the way but came up short. I dug as deep as possible with 3 gut wrenching attempt to latch back on for a final kick only to find myself impotent.
This was the worst placing ever for me and I’m pissed. I can come up with a few excuses like I’m still recovering from my dislocated shoulder or I’m not a true climber or I wasn’t feeling good that day etc. the reality is I was feeling great, strong, motivated, no shoulder problems, my climbing is best it’s been in long time. The bottom line is my weakness is climbing over 5 mins!
What did I get out of the race: demoralized, disappointed, realizing if I want to be competitive in road races I need to climb more, a flat new $100 tubular tire after race, a good workout, see Michele racing.
While I might seem down about it (I am) I realize I’m a well rounded rider who hasn’t done much climbing training (reap what you sew) and believe me I will be doing more climbing going forward. I‘m going into hiding for a few weeks to work out some kinks.