Monday, August 13, 2007

5-3-1 - go! Tour of KC

After missing out on last year's edition I went back to the Tour of Kansas City this time around. And it was going to be a weekend to remember.

Friday: I got up way to tired as the night before was a busy one working a new part-time job for the local newspaper. I even slept through my appointment with the Physical Therapist...after a caffeinated 3 1/2 hour drive to Tulsa I met up with Alex and Jane and with the help (?) of "Maggie" we got to KC at 8pm; 30minutes before the start. My eyes were about to close after being up so long. The heat and humidity in scary empty downtown KC, KS, was brutal. But we gotta do it and I went with plan B - tail gunning it for 30minutes. I felt better and better later on and was off the front for a couple of laps but the batteries were only halfway charged so I was swallowed up by the field not too much later. Trek/VW and Jensen rode - again - an aggressive race and my teammates did a good job being in the moves, too. Mat managed to get 5th, Nick 7th and I buried myself the last 1 1/2 lap to set up Chad for the field sprint - with me ending up OTB in 39th place ;-(

Saturday: Did I mention it was HOT (102F) in KC? For all of you who don't know what the Cliff Drive circuit race is - it's like an Miss'N out race on the road with some nice little, steep climbs in KC, MO. Survival is probably the most appropriate word to describe the goal for most racers when doing 18 3mile laps on this challenging course. Along with the theory "Attack is the best defense" I jumped with Steve Tilford, Bill Stolte, a Bagel guy, and a Mesa Cycles rider after two laps and we quickly built a nice lead. After a couple of more laps a group with the contenders came up to us including Jensen, Dziewa, Dickey and my teammate Alex. I wanted to keep on going but Alex, "Mr. Calm" himself, told me to wait and we told our "feed zone chicks" to give Mat and Chad the order to bridge up to us. And they did. So we were 4 Mercy guys in the front move now. Skinny Alex looked the best and he went with Tilford one more time and was later joined by Jensen, Dickey and two BIG sharks. Alex got third, Chad 6th and I let Mat pass me just before the line because until that day he was our Omnium guy (your welcome!). The last tim eup the hill I tried to go as fast as possible but halfway through the engine overcooked ;-)

Sunday: The local weather center issued an "Extreme Heat Warning" for the KC area and, yes - it was not too much pleasure to even think about riding a bike that day. I was dripping' sweat by just standing in the shade looking at my bike. "Oh well, gotta get ready for HH100", I thought and put my clothes on, soaked myself in ice-cold water, and waited in the shade on the sidewalk until 10 seconds before the start (I don't like standing 5minutes on the start line). I followed plan B again. And it was good. I could relax at HR 150 tail gunning it and waiting to pounce. Chad was our Omnium man now but we had plenty of cards to play. 30 minutes into it I set for another suicide-move (as some people called it) and got quickly 10, 15 seconds on the field). I knew that Jensen had the Overall locked up pretty good and my guys would just wait and chill 'til I come back. Well, they did wait but I didn't come back. I held it steady around 20 sec. for many laps and when I read 66 minutes into the 75+5laps I had almost 40 seconds. My teammates did a great job jumping with stuff, and messing up any kind of organized chase. As soon as I would see guys getting closing in on me I just went over my threshold and full out on the little rises and chilled on the flats. The last 5 laps were like in trance, just cruising around the corners, hoping not to crash and waiting for that final stretch of road.
Thanks to Amber, Helen, Becca, and Mr. Bick in the feed zone - I must have taken 15 bottles and at least 20 full-on-face-cold-water-splashes ;-)


  1. Hell ya!!! Nice job Rothe.

  2. Rothe
    I was there and that was one hell of a ride. Good job

  3. Damn Stefan! Awesome work- I know how hot that KC heat can be!!