15 April 2012

Yesterday was my first race of the year – the Oregon ‘Spring Classic’ of King’s Valley. The Pro/1/2 field was 67 strong, facing a 75 mile, 4 lap rolling course in beautiful spring sunshine. I first rode this race in 2010 and finished 4th. Last year I was 3rd. So I really wanted to get the win this time, especially being my first official race as ‘Team English Cycles’ racing in my own kit (and with matching bike!).

On the first lap a soft three man break went. Seeing as it featured one each of the three biggest teams, the bunch rode a very slow first lap. But they weren’t really committed up ahead, and when the racing got going on lap two, they were soon brought back. I continued to bide my time, letting others wear out their fresh legs. I did one dig on lap two to see how I was feeling, then on lap three started really looking for the move to get away. The one that stuck ended up being a subtle roll-off-the-front attack, that ended up with five of us up the road. With once again all three of those teams represented, when we got a minute I was fairly confident we would stay away. So I then had half a lap to figure out how I would win…. I was feeling okay, not super, and wanted to attack early, but was worried about the headwind in the last few miles. I’m kicking myself now, I should have tried it anyway, but I thought I could take the uphill sprint. It was cagey up the hill, then I lead it out and got a gap, and the line was so close I could taste it, when Zak Winter did a tremendous jump and shot past on my right. So 2nd….. Disappointing simply becuase I feel I messed it up tactically, and to get so close. But ah well, it should give me some motivation to go train more before the next one.

It was just my second ride on the new bike, and I am really pleased with it. Stiff, light, responsive – yada yada; I don’t want to bandy these words around without quantification (light I can put data to – under 13lb with the deep 6.7 wheels on it), but for me this is a pure race bike at it’s best. Also my first race with the Enve SES 6.7 wheelset. These were great in the windy conditions, I never felt blown around as I did at times with the old 1.68s, and they were so easy to keep rolling through once the break was established.

Finish line photos by Leonard Johnson / Hot Foot Photo.

 

 

One Comment

  1. The kit looks good on you, Rob! And of course, the bike’s the real deal.

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