The day began at 530 again. It wasn’t raining out though so that helped a lot. We got on the road and made Dunkin’ Donuts by 630.
We got to the course and rolled around for a bit. I was having a bit of trouble with my front derailleur so I took it by the SRAM tent.
The mechanic must have raced with Jim at some point because the first thing he said was “How often do you wash your bike???”
“I, um, we’ve been staying at an apartment and I…”
He began working on my derailleur. The first thing he did was start messing with the limits and before I knew it the job was going to take “a while.” Fortunately my race was in 10 minutes. Don’t go to a barber if you don’t want your hair cut.
He finally finished up right as they were doing the call up. I moved over to the line next to a guy wearing the same kit as Longo.
“You’re Jeannie Longo’s husband right?”
“Yes” he said and shook his head a bit.
“Congrats, um, cool.”
He smiled a bit and then I heard someone speaking French. I didn’t think anything of it until I looked over and there was Jeannie Longo.
“You look nervous!” she said to me. I had been tapping my shifters, anxious to start the race. I was.
I smiled, a bit awestruck and then listened for the whistle.
It sounded and I clipped in and started sprinting. I entered the first and second turns alone and looked back to see a large gap. I put my head down and started cranking. I stayed off the front for about two miles until I was caught before the climb.
The climb hit and it was BIG. I’ve never seen the Manayunk Wall in person but this seemed a lot like it.
The first time was pretty hard but I made it and was able to move up when it flattened out. Then on the back stretch we were neutralized.
The race had been pretty safe up until this point. Then everyone got sketch in a hurry. I swear I thought there was going to be a wreck while we were neutralized. It got bunched up so I moved around toward the front to avoid ramming into someone.
“Oh nice, everyone did fine except for 499! Yeah you and that shit-eating grin!”
I was 499. Guess he liked my work.
On the third lap while on the straightaway I felt someone’s front wheel hit my back wheel. I sat still and kept pedaling. Wick said they saw the guy go up on one wheel after he hit me. Somehow he stayed up.
The final lap came. I was near the back on the last straightaway and could sense a crash coming. The road split around a traffic island and soon after we came back together I heard something off to the right. Some guys had gone done.
I started sprinting, happy to be upright. I hit the climb and pushed as hard as I could. I ended up about middle of the pack.
We went and got food and then hung out for a bit. The PRO women’s race was cool and so was the men’s.
This guy got pretty tore up in the PRO race.