My stunning victory in Friday night’s Computrainer race allowed me to receive a call-up to the start line in Saturday’s big race, the Athens Twilight Criterium. This gave me a huge leg up on the other 150 people in the race, because nearly the entire race is based upon your starting position and how well you can maintain that position. So to cut to the chase, I started on the front line, and never looked back. I ended up trying my hardest to help Rich England at the finish, who ended up 7th and I took 11th.
Far more interesting than the numbers regarding the race, the atmosphere of the thing was unreal! Every time I went under the big theater marquise at turn 1, I thought to myself, This is an absolute circus!
The race started around 9:30pm and was filled 3, 4, or 5 people deep for just about the entire 1km course. They were all rowdy drunk and deafeningly loud thereby creating the most insane scenario in which I’ve ever raced! It was crazy.
Next, we packed up the van and shipped off to Roswell, GA where we are now for the Nalley Roswell Historic Criterium. I don’t really have any idea what Nalley refers to, and I don’t know why it’s historic either. Skipping lots of details, Rich again lead the team with an 8th place finish, followed by bro-man Robbie in 12th, and Glen in 18th, thereby leaving plenty of room for improvement. In our defence, this is the first time the five of us are seriously racing together -as opposed to the big teams who’ve been together since mid-February – and we haven’t raced in 5 weeks, which is frustrating… so look for us to be winning everything in sight in no time!
The Cyclingnews race report omits a bunch of details from the race, like when Priority Health came to the front and hammered for a good long while to catch the four-man break of Davidenko, Candelario, Haedo, and Rapinski. Thankfully, the pictures do a bit of justice and show that we were in fact quite active and not silly pack fodder:
The most bizarre thing of the day happened at dinner tonight. So here we are in the heart of the south in Roswell, Georgia where football and guns and confederate flags reign high. We went out to dinner and met up with the Navigators team at the Olive Garden. This was unplanned, but the Olive Garden folks told us that dinner would be faster if we ate together, so down we sat since it was already 9pm (meanwhile, Robbie went out to dinner someplace else with his old high school roommate and his girlfriend). Looking around the table at the seven of us, I found it to be a rather international group. The Navigators consisted of Siro (Italian), Vassili (Russian), their massage man (Costa Rican), Rich and Tommy (both Australian), Glen (New Zealander), and me (American-o!). Yeah, nothing too exciting, but I thought it was cool at the time. Plus, my spaghetti dinner with meatballs and Italian sausage was tasty.
In other news, you can see an inadvertent picture of me from the Twilight Crit. I would copy and paste it, but it’s copywrited. I was seen here chatting up my buddy John Murphy, who I raced with last year on the national team, at the start line. You can see about 1/20th of my body. It’s awesome.