Thursday, August 30, 2007

HHH and the "Alex Show"

Okay, I'm back in the country since Wednesday evening. And, finally, got to ride my bike Thursday the first time since 8 days. Not the perfect preparation for a 75min Crit and 100mile RR, or?
Fortunately, I have teammates who show up 20minutes before race time and win solo style, like Alex Welch did Friday evening. After I had to ride towards Interstate 44 so they would know where to turn to the race course (...) we got Fid's and Alex' number pinned on and off we were. It was fast and furious, but comfortable sitting in the big pack. I knew I didn't had the fitness like 2 weeks ago when winning Day 3 at Tour of KC but the legs were good enough to go with some moves and light it up a few times.
The HHH director mentioned prior to the Crit that the last thing he wants is a Mercy rider to win the race - oh Boy, that motivated us even more ;-) Alex made the crucial move with about 10 other guys at 30min to go after crashing (!) just 10 minutes before. You can read the entire story here in the local paper. He soloed away with a lap to go and the SL and Toyota guys never saw him again. Thanks to Alex's efforts, I could chill in the pack, take a Festina prime, and roll in w/ what was left from the main bunch.
After an early wake-up call we started off at 6:50am to take on the 100mile RR. Well, you can hide the lack of fitness in a Crit but not in a 100mile race in the win, heat, and chip-'n seal road of North Texas. The plan was obviously to try to keep Alex out of trouble but we didn't really had the numbers and horsepower to pull it off. We sent our African, Speerchucker, in the early break hoping that he would make us some $$$. I did what I could for the first 45 miles and then, out of nowhere, Alex sneaked away from the field, w/ out a whole lot of people recognizing it. Some Successful Living guys and couple of others came up to me on the way to Burkburnett asking where Alex is ;-) That was funny. He made it up to the break like he did last year and everything looked to be set. Fiddler jumped across later, too and I was again the domestique sitting in what was left of the pack. By mile 70, my legs said "no more" and I decided for my own good, after doing what I had to do, to call it a day and I rode home w/ Thacker Reeves of RBM who was pretty exhausted, too. We stopped at Friberg Church, found a water hose, and enjoyed gallons off water in an attempt to hydrate our bodies. It was fun. Alex ended up 14th on the day and 4th Overall. Not bad at all considering we didn't really had our A-squad here this year and I was well-off my form after honeymoonin' it in Germany. Time will come and I'm back!

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