Monday, March 2, 2009

Merco Weekend - Race Report

Overall, the weekend went well. First, nobody got hurt! For me, it was great to get out there and race with a full squad of guys that are all really talented.

Merco Criterium:

The Merco crit started out pretty rough... As I fully anticipated to work for a victory for our seasoned sprinters, I wanted to get some power data for the race. Unfortunately, that was a big mistake. I spent the first 7 laps getting DROPPED!!!!! It was only after I stopped to check out my bike that I learned my rear wheel had shifted and was rubbing against my frame. That's wuite the power draw. I can't remember exactly what I was thinking as I was sitting on people wheel grinding out 450 watts and still falling backwards. But thankfully, I found Ben in the wheel pit and he told the official what had happened and they let me back into the race with a new wheel. All of the sudden, it was much easier to move around in the pack. In the end though I was sitting a little further back then I should have been and I was cought behind a couple wrecks (Sterling, are you OK?) in the last few laps so I was unable to contribute to the final sprint :-( Fortunately, BJM was able to pull out an 8th place for the day's efforts.

Merco Road Race:

120 miles of slightly chilly rain. Sprinkle on some formerly dusty roads and you get a lot of dirty lycra. The race started fast as planned. With lots of full teams and a few partial squads but with their ringers, it was a slug fest of two wheels. I spent most of the day sitting in the front 20 riders trying to cover moves, ensuring that if any of the breaks stuck, Team Bissell would be represented. But with the number of strong teams, no significant hills, no wind, and Rock Racing having a few national champions in the field, al breaks were doomed to failure. So in the end, I was part of the Bissell train up front at about 2k to go and just kept pushing untill my legs blew out at about 200 meters to go. Fortunately AJM was there to get the last podium spot with a 3rd place finish in the field sprint. WAY TO GO ANDY!!!

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