Sunday, March 24, 2013

Barry-Roubaix 2013

The official start to the racing season for most of the cyclist in  Michigan began yesterday with the 5th edition of Barry-Roubaix. This is one of my favorite races, and one of the races that has given me some of the best head to head race experiences ever! Except the year I got my hand stuck in my front wheel.

This year did not disappoint. In fact it may have been even better with the racing moving to downtown Hastings, MI. for the start and finish made it feel like a world class event. Hats off to Rick and his crew for making this a great race!

As for my event, I headed over the day of with TP and Sandy. We got there early and set up the tent. I was pleased to see so may TSB racers this year, and not only were they there, there was a buzz that everyone was ready to race. As for me, I was excited to finally be doing battle again, but was not sure what to expect. Just finishing up base 1, the race was more of a training goal than a performance goal. But none the less, it was a race, and I was going to give it everything I had.

I got a front row start in the 38-39 age group. As we shivered waiting for wave 1-3 to go, it was now our turn. The official gave the count down and we were off. I took off hard, making sure I did not get into any trouble early on. I soon found myself on the sharp end of race leading the group of 86 down one of the main streets of town. I sat in the TT position for several miles until we turned and finally hit the dirt! It was like a bomb went off... Instantly we were greeted with huge pot holes! water bottles all over the road. Riders down, and some of the biggest climbs of the race. I pushed hard and soon found myself in a group of 4-5 guys from my age group. William Martin (IN), Dan Bannink, Brandon Love, and Patrick Horneak. We were able to work with each other through all this carnage, and soon found that we blew the rest of the age group apart and were on our own. We quickly worked our way through the wave 3 folks and were settled into a nice steady pace. The roads were frozen, to icy, to snow covered to a mix of all 3. early on, as we waded through the traffic, I would get gaped off in some of the more sketchy sections. I would make it back to the lead group and made sure I stayed put. Later on the long paved climb, We lost Brandon. Dan, William and I all continued to grind  it out. William pulled away and got a nice gap. I figured this was not the time to play games and felt if he could hold it he deserved it. He later eased up and waited for us to join back. What a classy move. And our battle for the top 4 continued. By this point we had a nice lead over the rest of the group for the top 4 spots on the podium. We still had a nice hard pace going, but none of us was under any pressure. Then with about 5-6 miles to go, JTP and Jarod came up on us with several other from wave 5. To say the least, Dan and I were startled, and realized that it was time to pick up the pace. We hopped on the train, and never looked back. It was great to watch Jeff and Jarod trade blows in the last few miles. And my race was heating up as well. The entire group of about 8-9 guys now mixed of wave 4 and 5 racers turned the screws and were sharing the work load. As we got about 1 or so miles away from town and now of paved roads the pace let up a bit. I know we were close but did not know how close we were. I decided to take a gamble any way. I jumped out of the group expecting only William and Dan to try and hunt me down. I got a nice gap right away, and was holding my power. With about 1/4 mile to go, the entire group caught me before the last turn. Jarod and Jeff both thanked me for the pull, and I had no other choice than to latch back on and try and sprint. All of us were opening up on the final straight. I was beginning to pull toward the front again, but just could not get there. I almost nipped Dan at the line by less than an inch. But it was not enough I had to settle for 4th. And missed the win by less than 2 seconds.

I was stoked! I beat all my expectations, and was able to race for the win with the lead group for all 36 miles! That kind of racing is awesome, and I can add it to another great BRX experience!

The Michigan Scene appears to be putting in the work this year as well.

Congrats to KLM for taking the Team Overall Award in the 36 miler!
Congrats to Jeff Payn for 3rd in his age group and 10th overall! Awesome!
Jarod for 5th
Brad Lako 5th
Dan Bannink 3rd and a great experience.
Tom Clark 2nd
Joe Seidl for 4th
Shaun Welch 6th
Cindi Bannink for taking the win in the Womens 36 miler overall and age group!
Pt Tommlinson for pulling out a 2:02 and taking 25th!

Mackenzie Woodring for taking the win in the Women 62 miler
Rob Foshag for taking 4th in 62 miler
Collin Snyder for taking the win in the 62 miler Single Speed

Mike Wissink for 3rd in the 62 miler Single Speed!