2014 Hillsboro RR
ZiaVelo always does a good job of putting this race on, and this year was no exception, I only did the RR this year, due to that pesky activity called a job. After various conversations between email, and in person, a few of us Scaloes decided to head down the morning of the race. Nick, Michael, Wristen and I. We also had a friend of a friend named Emil (Pronounced Amol, a Czech name) coming down with us. Although he rode for Sport Systems, he turned out to be a great dude.(Only Joking!) About the Sport Systems bit anyways, truly a nice guy. We met at Nicks place at 6:15am, packed into my Subaru and Wristen’s ScaloMobile and headed south!
The PRO123 race started at 10am, we eventually got there at 9:15 or so, later than expected thanks to my lousy navigation skills. Yes I know, how could I screw up such a simple route? I don’t know either. Nevertheless we made it. A lot of hustling, number pinning and various pre-race activities kept us mighty busy til the start, which rolled around just as I finished getting ready. Perfect. Deep down I was quite nervous about this race, since I didn’t know how my legs would do after 4 weeks off the bike. I kept telling myself it was just a training race, but a race is still a race. Once we got rolling all that nervousness went away and I just pedaled my bike.
The race started out surprisingly at a relatively easy pace, I thought. Maybe it was because for once I sat in the pack and took it easy instead of panicking and heading to the front only to blow up soon after. Not sure how that ends up happening? A little ways in Tom Jones took off on a solo break and held onto it for quite a while. Nice job Tom! The pace stayed about the same until we hit the “little” rollers before the descent into Lake Valley. At that point people started thinking about the turnaround and lifted the speed through the roof. The field began hemorrhaging riders until it finally imploded into various smaller groups. I ended up somewhere in the middle after the turnaround. I pedaled hard but wasn’t getting anywhere. A group eventually caught me from behind and I worked with them until surprisingly, we caught the front group again. The pace stayed stable most of the way back to Hillsboro. By then the winning break was already 3 minutes up the road. A steamroller named Fortunato paved his way to victory. He eventually won by almost 5 minutes.
A peculiar sound punctured my thoughts as well as Ryan’s front tire. We were about 3 miles from Hillsboro, and Ryan was one of our best chances at victory, I thought about what to do for a brief second but was shortly interrupted by JBV telling me exactly what to do. Tom and I were to stop and wait for Ryan to change wheels in order to pull back to the group. So that’s exactly what we did. Just as Ryan was rolling up to Tom, who was behind me, Tom attempted to shift up into the big ring and broke his shifter. Darn. The enormous job to return Ryan to the field now lay in solely my legs. As soon as he caught up to me, I put my head down, channeled Lord Merckx and turned my legs in nice fast circles.
I pulled him for about 5 mins as hard as my legs allowed me, at which point JP came back from the front group and took over the job. Ryan did eventually make it back up to the front group once they hit the climb but unfortunately was shelled soon after. I sat up after JP took over, and caught my breath for a few seconds. I figured it was now training for me and rode a nice hard pace up the last nine miles into Kingston. I rolled in 20th out of 40. Officially middle of the pack. Chris was the best finisher from Scalo in a very swell 6th place, so with Ryan winning the crit yesterday, and our string of excellent results in the TT it turned out to be a pretty swell weekend for Scalo. We worked like a well oiled machine today, and although we didn’t catch the steamroller, we did a great job working together. Proud to belong to such a great team(Team hug). We all went to the Socorro Springs Brewery after to celebrate our success, and enjoy some great food and “adult beverages” I assure you I did not partake in the latter of these. ZiaVelo, thanks for once again putting on a great race! Next race for me is Carlsbad Classic in a couple weeks, see you there!!