Monday, June 25, 2007

Crystal City Classic Race Report by Joe Coddington

NRC Race -
So I get in the race. I am riding like a champ. I do not feel a thing. I am cornering on rails. I am at the front. This euphoria goes on for about 4 laps. Then I feel the discomfort begin to creep in. I realize that it was adrenaline. Then ouch it all catches up. I am now heavy and tired. And only 50k to go. “Light gears hold momentum, find a rhythm.” Luckily for me a break goes and the pace settles for a few laps. I can move back up. Jon Hamblen was next to me I asked him if he wanted to go across. He said “No not yet.” We rode near the front and then the chase began to go into high gear. We go lined out for a while. I do not know how long it is a bit of a blur. It was hard enough I stopped looking at the lap board because I did not want to know. The break is brought back and the counters go. Jon is in the first one. It is short lived. I help bring back a second. Jon goes again. I am in awe how is he doing that. Again the math is wrong and it comes back. The pace settles again. Whew. I begin to relax and some jerks go again. It is a larger group rolling away. I am hesitant and trying to talk myself into going. I keep waiting. “Just go come on” I tell myself. It almost like I am scared. “What the **** are you doing?” I hear from my right as Jon attacks to try and go across. I am in shock. Then the guilt begins to roll over me. The field is closing down on Jon. “How can you let your team mates down? Get it in gear.” I scream at myself as I muster enough courage to attack. I barely get off the front but I keep my head down. I try to hold 550 watts down the front stretch. Things begin to go tunnel vision so I swing off and get clipped by a Harley rider attacking up by my right. “Come on are you kidding me?” I whimper. The backward slide begins as I try to recover. The field closes to the break. I guess every one is tired and I am able to go forward again. I look up and see 12 laps to go. “Wow that was fast!” I think. Some guys go again and it is dangerous. Out of the first turn the guilt still fresh I jump and jump hard. I am going clear. It takes most of the lap but I make it. We stay gone for another lap and are caught. The field sits up hard as they try to decide field sprint or no field sprint. I look forward and see Jon way up the road. He had countered me perfectly. No one knew what happened. Also somehow I stayed near the front. The guilt faded to pride that I had done my job and done it well. I sit at the front discouraging attacks. A group of guys jump I take inventory and decide that they should go right teams. The go halfway. I am in disbelief that Jon is still solo. I am being push all around the very technical course. “Fight stay here discourage the chase.” I am in a mental war with myself. I look up 7 to go. Those 4 laps have taken longer then the whole race. The chase group shatters Kyle w. from Navigators shoots up to Jon. They keep rolling. Pride fades to worry and hope. “Come on, the wait is killing me. How many more?” I am having an internal argument. Willing the end and hear the bell. I realize they are gone unless something happens. “We did it!!!” My mind yells though pain and fatigue. I roll across the line to see Kane holding up 2 fingers. We made the podium and place other riders in the money. I see Jon on stage after the cool down lap. Wow it is cool to see your jersey up there. Come on boys lets hit the barn for a well deserved Burger and Beer. Manulife Financial Pro Cycling races on WIlliams Wheels.