I thought to myself it’s getting late in the road racing season and I only have a couple months left to really up my game and reach my goal of getting my category 2 upgrade. I knew what I had to do and I only had 3 races left before I took off to Alaska. I had to kill it at all three and get points to ensure I wouldn’t be fighting for the few races left in the season when I returned from the frontier. I geared up and headed to Naugatuck Ct. this weekend. I opted out of the the Tour of the Hilltowns race on Saturday because last year my legs cramped up real bad and I ended up laying in the river about 4 miles from the finish. Hahahah ahhhhh that’s a race I will never forget. I knew arriving at Naugatuck I had a good chance at doing well because there was only 25 people pre registered and I wasn’t too worried about any of them. After getting to the race I started seeing some really fast dudes that hadn’t pre registered online that were registering day of. I started sweating a little bit and knew I would have my work cut out for me in the race.
Right from the start of the race people were attacking. Two guys broke off the front on the first lap and stayed away for 4 laps. I knew not to follow them cause they couldn’t hold it. After they returned into the pack a couple guys launched another brutal attack off the front. This happened time and time again and always got pulled back. It was a super fast and hard course to make a break on. With 20 laps to go I saw a break happen that I knew I had to be in, so I stood up, gritted my teeth and bridged up to the group pulling one other guy with me, all of a sudden we had a 100 foot gap on the field and 5 dudes in our break all working together. We held the break the entire race and with 5 laps to go another 3 guys bridged up to us and it was a brutal sprint for the finish. One guy started sprinting with about 400 meters to go so I knew I had to act now or I wouldn’t make it, so I hit it hard and started sprinting and there it was, a long drawn out sprint. I had a strong finish and only 2 dudes just barely made it past me and I took 3rd, scoring me enough points in one race to get my upgrade!!!!
So, I’m really happy and I have a great sense of accomplishment. I have been training my ass off all year to make it to this level of racing. I went from cat 4 to cat 2 in less than a year so I know I have potential at this sport even at the old man age of 27. Hahahah, so I am heading to Alaska on Monday with a renewed sense of self worth and happiness. I can relax and ride bikes in the beautiful mountains of Alaska and not worry about getting enough points to get my upgrade when I get home. I have my first races this weekend in the pro field at New London criterium on Saturday and then I’m doing the bike leg of the Pedal and Plod duathalon which is a 25 mile Time Trial on Sunday morning and then I’m racing the pro 1/2 crit at Limerock at 5 in the evening. So my legs are basically going to be destroyed for a long couple days of travel to Alaska. Then they will heal up and I’ll start hanging out with my amazing family up north!!!!!!! I will write another blog after this weekend when I’m waiting at the airport!
I know I have my eyes closed in both of these pictures. I planned it that way, I swear.