Training and Toona

13 Jul

Well, I’ve spent the past two weeks up in the Northeast. The first week up at Bobby’s in CT and the second at the Tour de Toona in PA. I made the sixteen hour drive from Augusta to Connecticut the day after elite nats. Bobby and I had some awesome training rides together up there in the hills.  When we weren’t riding I spent the good portion of my day chillin’ with Allie, as you can see.

Allie

After a good week of riding and hanging out, I made my way over to Altoona to meet up with my teammates.  We had a nice host family and they let us have a huge basement to ourselves. I was looking forward to testing my climbing legs in an NRC race after having a few good climbs at previous races. The first road stage ended on the top of Blue Knob. A break went early and had roughly three minutes on us in the field going into the final climb. I started a bit further back than I had hoped, but I was able to climb past all of the riders from the field, except Baldwin. I was even able to catch two of the riders from the six man break to finish 5th on the stage.  After this stage, Mike’s unofficial team car (notice the Globalbike stickers) was bumped up to number 4 in the race caravan.

Car

After a day off and an intense air hockey game between Winston and Zac, we had another road stage. This race was sketchy from the start with a few bad crashes early. Unfortunately, Mike got caught up in one of these early crashes. Things eventually cooled off until we hit the climb in the middle of the race.  I pinch flatted right at the base of the Blue Knob climb. This took me off the back of the caravan, where I got a neutral SRAM wheel and had my work cut out. I climbed my way back up through the race caravan and then the main part of the field. I could see the yellow jersey group, lead by Pure Black racing, up the road and knew I had to climb to it to stay in the GC. I was able to make contact with this group just before the gravel section near the top of the climb. I remained in this group for the duration of the race and ended up with same time, just a few seconds behind the break that went at the base of the climb.  I lost a few seconds in the crit after getting caught behind a field split on the final lap and ended up 8th in the GC. Not too bad for one of my first few NRC races.

Big thanks to Globalbike and the team for making Toona and the upcoming Cascade work out.  Thanks to Zac and Kyle for being our soigners/mechanics during the race. Now I’m looking forward to flying out to the Cascade Cycling Classic. Thanks to Simon for setting this trip up.

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