It has finally transitioned to springish weather. After a very long CX season and then winter that lasted well into April, I've finally gotten the road season underway and have gotten my legs back underneath me.
This is my final racing season in the Kansas City area. In June we will be moving to Portland OR, for residency. I am looking forward to many things there, but the road and CX scene have me particularly excited.
As far as this road season has gone, I've been super happy with how it has turned out. I came in with lower fitness than I am used to (I only did about 60% of the mileage in March 2013 than March 2012) But it has been very fun to race on a full team of 1/2's who are local. It has been very fun to go into each race knowing that we have the guys to form the outcome of the race.
It was also fun to try some staples of the KC racing scene that I had never done before. I have never gone to the Spring Fling series or the Perry series, so it was nice to get out to those before moving.
Bazaar was sort of fun, and GP Velotek was a great way to get in an early stage race prior to Joe Martin. Both those races have historical issues with getting results done in a timely manner, and this year was no different. I think this should be the number one issue addressed by the KCA. If the Kansas races are to be taken seriously and draw regional racers, we can't expect to make them wait around for hours afterwards to get results up. Even for local racers, the fact that I reminded my team before each of the races to bring plenty of food and drink and warm clothes for afterwards means that these races are getting a reputation for slowness and inaccuracy. But I digress.
Joe Martin Update
The team is right now down in Fayetteville AR, racing at the Joe Martin SR. I came into the race unsure how far my fitness was going to take me. The Thursday TT was a pleasant surprise as I bettered my old time by more than 30 seconds for the course. This put me at 25th/110 starters. Brian West put in the ride of the day and placed 9th.
Friday's RR was fairly calm until a wild crash at mile 50 that took out Michael Smith and scattered riders across the entire road. The pace calmed down a little bit after this and stayed mostly together until the base of Mt Gaylor. The tempo up that climb was steady, which was good because Brian West had flatted just before and was able to catch back on as the climb ended. 7 riders ended up getting away and at the end of the day we finished in a group with Brian, David Neidenger, Justin Leopold and I making the selection in the main bunch. This moved me to 22nd on GC.
The Saturday RR, though shorter than Fridays, is tougher because of the repeated laps up two tough climbs. The pace was high immediately in this race and I was a little ragged after the first time up the climbs. A group of 4 got away, and by the end of the first lap they already had over 2 minutes to the field. I joined a chase group that jumped out of the bunch on the second time up the climb, which I think was the right move, though we didn't make any time on the leaders. Fortunately our group took the climbs a little conservative and I was able to just ride tempo with the group. On the third lap, after the climb the main bunch caught up with us. Brian and I were up there and we rolled in with the main group, several minutes down on the leaders. That dropped Brian a couple of GC spots, and me back to 23rd.
The final day is here and we race at 3:30. It will be a very tough race, but I am hoping to move up a few spots to get in the top 20.