what’s really nice about starting the day with heavy legs is you have lowered sense of expectation of what’s achievable. so anything beyond that feels like gravy on your biscuit. such was the sensation throughout the day.
despite having rolled my legs to submission the previous night using a foam roller (or as i call it “the bitch device that makes a grown man cry”) my legs felt like they were going to snap off at the knees at any moment.
the roll-out was pretty interesting however. i hear there were bunch of pro’s on the ride today. among them was someone named jeff who will be riding tour of california this year. i was unable to figure out what team he’s on. maybe kelly or bissell?
then john b. went down in hartsdale while putting on his gloves. fortunately he wasn’t hurt seriously but there will be hell to pay if his wife ever finds out. i told him to tell his wife that scrapes on his hand were just blisters from pushing sox up the climbs all day. i hope she’ll buy it.
on the ride, jesse kicked us off with a solo break up the ibm hill. robert soon followed and they were off in a quick hurry. the condition was windy enough that i thought, if we just keep them in our sight, we could bring them back if we worked together. now i know that’s a big “if” but it never hurts to dream big and keep hope alive.
the paceline over the bedford rd. section was simply laughable. it was the same story. too many people sitting at the front without pulling through, surges without a cause, etc. still few of us just kept at it. steve, will, wayne and that guy on cervelo were instrumental in keeping things going and filling up the gaps left behind by people who were unwilling or simply did not know how to rotate through.
when we finally caught them on picket fence*, 4-5 riders took a flyer again over the top. all but robert and jesse dropped off eventually and got reabsorbed by the pack which by now was a bit more efficient at pacelining. by purchase jesse had been gapped but he was still bravely hanging on in the no man’s land. it was painful to watch him trying to stay ahead of the pack for like 10 minutes. i am sure it felt far longer and harder than that for him.
we caught jesse and rob in quick succession just before the first sprint and now we were all together again coming into rye. i thought about leading out for will but wasn’t really sure if my legs would respond. then, jesse, once again, drilled it up the poggio with few guys in tow. he couldn’t sustain his effort but the move created a promising last minute break including rob and will. will actually went straight through rob and he was now trying to hang on to a 15 second lead over the first hump. but soon it appeared he was struggling and looked like he was going to get caught before the sprint so i jumped. it was a pathetic 25mph 53x15 effort into the headwind but why not give it a shot, right? i passed will and tried to grind it out for few more yards.
then something pretty amazing… will was coming around me again. i don’t know where he found the energy to make a second jump like that but he came around 4-5 other guys sprinting to the line to cross the line first. that was pretty impressive. he did that new fancy danny’s cycles team kit proud. and i got to say i ended up leading out for will after all - no matter how unintentional.
* correction: jesse was not caught on the climb. he was actually still ahead of us when rob attacked and bridged across to jesse.