by Nils "drafting? what a novel concept" Tikkanen
The warmup: 50 miles away counts as a local race, right? My mid-day start time combined with my irrational hatred of trainers led me to believe that a good warmup would be the 3-hour ride to the race start. Heck, it was such a gorgeous morning that even if I didn't feel great in the race, I'd at least have gotten in some nice riding! It soon became apparent that my top end wasn't there (and after 3 days back-to-back of intensity, I wasn't surprised), so I'd have to accept that when the time came. It took a solid two hours for my legs to start feeling normal.
The TT (oh wait...): The Butterfly Crit is a great course (read: none of that flat 4-corner mediocrity) with a slight uphill to the finish, a downhill, and some interesting turns thrown in. I knew instantly I'd have a great time.
As soon as the whistle blew, my legs and mind suddenly (and fortunately) went into race mode. And then I started riding like a man possessed (by demons? Sheer stupidity? A desire for an 'uninhibited rider' award? You decide!). I took the first three primes (the third being a hotly-contested $50 cash). I tried a few doomed solo efforts off the front after the primes. I pulled the entire pack around like the masochist I am. I took a fourth prime for a jug of Cytomax. I correct Mike Hernandez when he said my name wrong. I think the L4 workouts are making me enjoy suffering just a little too much.
With five to go, the field slowed up... typical 3s field! Somewhere in my twisted mind, I thought it would be fun to keep the race fast (i.e. safe) and find out just how much I could have left in the tank. I pulled the entire field for five laps, and really felt it when a few guys came surging around with 1/2 lap to go... but it was only a few guys. Nice clean finish. I held on for 8th at the end. Fun times!