It’s been a good long while since my last update. My apologies for that. After selling my motorcycle, I began a pretty epic stretch of driving. As previously mentioned, Robbie and I raced in Attleboro, MA and New Britain, CT which involves about 10 hours of driving. Next, I drove my parents to Boston – where they flew to California for a wedding and a week long vacation, then I headed to Mayo’s house in Vermont. I logged some awesome training there in the challenging Green Mountains in preparation for the climbing that I knew I’d be doing at the Tour de Toona. I training through two races in the Poughkeespie, NY area which added another 8 hours of driving and another two victories to the King brothers’ name (I won Saturday’s crit and Robbie nabbed Sunday’s Union Vale road race… with me coming in second). It was then back to Mayo’s house, where I turned around and drove 5 hours each way to and from Rochester, NY to go apartment hunting with Mayo. We packed some serious searching into less than 48 hours of being in Rochester – with Mayo doing the brunt of the work – and with some great recommendations and a guided tour of the area by Patty and David Noakes, we settled on a cool one-bedroom place in the Park Avenue neck-of-the-woods. With that out of the way, I returned home to New Hampshire (3 more hours of driving) for two days, then back to Vermont with Robbie to pick up Mayo and drive to Altoona (9 hours). So when all’s said and done, in about 2 weeks I drove for almost 40 hours. Cripes that’s a lot!
Being in Altoona has been a lot of fun. It was great to see the guys again after a fairly lengthy hiatus from team racing. Plus, it started off really well for me: I was 13th out of the 190 Pro/1 racers in Monday’s prologue, with Brian and Zirbel just fractions of a second behind me. The following circuit race didn’t shift the general classification very much, but Wednesday’s Johnstown-to-Altoona’s road race certain did. After being the Man in the break and then sadly being swallowed up by the peloton, Robbie and I made it over Blue Knob in the front group and finished 7th and 9th on the stage! That pushed me into 8th on GC and Robbie only about 4 seconds behind me. The subsequent 2 stages featured rolling circuit races, which didn’t shift GC thanks to some awesome teamwork by the entire Priority Health team keeping Robo and me out of wind and out of trouble.
Then yesterday happened. Frig. I really don’t want to talk about it, so I’ll just tell you that it’s a 95 mile stage with three KOM climbs and one stupidly hard, 5+ mile, steep, hard climb. Robbie and Jake finished pretty well towards the front, with Brian giving me absolutely everything he had to get me over Blue Knob. Again, the Priority Health guys were awesome all day, so it’s really disappointing to me to have let them down and not make the front group. Arrrrrgh.
So that’s the update through Altoona. Today is the final crit at Toona, with only the top 100 guys on GC able to race (instead of allowing the full 190 to race in a big chaotic mess). Next stop for me is Charlotte, NC for the Bank of America Criterium, then Downers Grove and Elk Grove crits(Chicago) on two consecutive weekends, followed by South Carolina’s US Pro time trial and road race national championships over Labor Day. There’ll be a few more in the northeast – Univest and Tour of Connecticut – in the middle of September, which will pretty much sum up the season!