Monday, April 06, 2009

Hillsboro-Roubaix 2009 & the Nature Valley Grand Prix Pro Ride

I'd be hard pressed to do as good a job writing up this race as Kristen Wentworth. She's nailed it. I didn't know about the vehicle interference at the conclusion. That's too bad. This is a good course and could be a great race with some modifications and extra support.

This year was my second go and I was bitterly disappointed to get the flat. Last year I had chased for nearly an entire lap before catching the break only to be too blown to finish well. This year, I had conserved and was so ready to power up that final climb and give the women a real run for their money I could hardly wait.

When I felt my tire begin to go soft, I tried denial at first.... Oh, surely it's just the road, you know, like soft tar. Ha! Too cold for that and I wouldn't ride in it anyway. Sigh. When Rebecca Much (Webcor) said, "You gotta flat," I knew I had to accept the reality. I waved my hand to let the wheel man know I needed him NOW. Seemed like the change took forever and I knew the chances of regaining my group were slim to none, though I gave it my best effort. The head wind sections were simply too much to overcome in the amount of race left. Read Kristen's account...

The good news, however, is that I did secure the Nature Valley spot. The other women said I was the only one in the break that had signed up for it, but I wasn't ready to believe it until the official word. The flat was such a disappointment that I didn't want to get my hopes up.

The NVGP Pro Ride is a wonderful opportunity to give one the the most prestigious races in the United States a go along with some of the best amateur riders in the nation. Rest assured, I'll be doing my very best to represent.

:) Read more about the Pro Ride.


Anonymous said...

Wheel truck guy here. I am so sorry about your flat. I know every second was precious to you, and I apologize if I fumbled the wheel exchange a little.

If only you could have had the flat at the top of the hill! But when I saw you trying to get it going again at the base, I thought all was lost and zoomed off to catch up with the group, otherwise I might have given you a bit of a draft. I did notice the group looking back at the turns to see if they could see you, it was gratifying that they were really waiting up for you a bit. I was very impressed with the groups riding.

In spite of it all, you fought back to only some minute and a half back from the winner. Very impressive!

Rudy Schwarz

Anonymous said...

Btw, if you would like to be more specific about the improvements to the race, I will be happy to pass those on. Nobody will be offended, in fact, they will glad to have a chance to improve things.

thx, Rudy

oldmanandhisbike said...

Sorry about the flat but great effort never the less to get back in there and secure your place.
Not sure if I will be in MN the week of the Nature Valley race, but trying to work it out. It would be great to see you live and in person!

bluecolnago said...

congrats on the nature valley selection! woohoo! that is truly good stuff! might see you there :)

Chris said...

Awesome job Syd! It sounds like you did what you needed to do. Just bad luck.

sydney said...

@Rudy.... I was fumbling too. :) Desperation creates a time warp. Next time I put wheels in, I'll have everything set so they slide on as easily as possible. That was my fault. Thank you for using your irreplaceable time to help with the race.

As far as making it better, it would be so wonderful to have full use of the road except where the route overlaps itself there at the start/finish. There isn't a real yellow line, so it makes it so difficult to enforce and encourages the more daring to push the limit while the more compliant stay in bounds at their own cost.

@oldman, love to meet you. Drive the hot rod. :D

@chris, yeah. Have to be prepared and lucky. That's bike racing. I hope I've now had my share of flats and chain issues.

sydney said...

What surprised me the most, was that the other women who were interested in the NVGP spot must not have been chasing hard. I was sure the group would come upon me.

oldmanandhisbike said...

The "mustang" is history.
It went bub-buy a few months ago.
Maybe I can pick one up at the rental car place! :^)

Anonymous said...

looks like you're in good company...

keep stormin'!

"Cavendish was not the only favorite to have bad luck [flat]. Homeboy Tom Boonen was the lone Quick Step rider in the front group, but he punctured when the pace was raging, and then Saxo Bank’s Fabian Cancellara flatted. And he too was forced to drop back, leaving only 34 left at the front."