According to the automated banner ad, DJ Brew, on July 25th, in Mathis, W.V., was supposed to be getting his epic on at Lost River. But, after July 18th, in Barnesville, M.D., after Giro di Coppi, DJ changed his mind.
I really wanted to support the Lost River Classic, which is why I initially registered. I expected my support to extend beyond my money to actually racing in the race but after my performance at Coppi, I realized I am just not in the kind of shape I want to be in to spend most of a race climbing. Now had it not been so close to the end of the season and I felt like I had a lot to gain from a training aspect, I would've gone to Lost River. Instead I figured I would go to Lancaster and test the legs out in a good ol' fashion criterium, the Grandview Grand Prix. I did this race last year and I really liked the course and the atmosphere. I went back this year seeking a better result than last years race. I actually figured I could win it, which also aided my decision to do Grandview over Lost River. Unfortunately for me Lance "Freakin' Stud" Lacy was there and decided he could win it as well.
I'll start by saying there is something about the racing in PA that's different. I can't quite put my finger on it but it didn't seem the same as racing in the MABRA area. The race was pretty easy. Obviously since I was seeking a result, I did no work and waited for the sprint. Lance Lacy, seeking a result, and more importantly not wanting to sprint against me, took off and never looked back. He had some company initially, but the sound wave his S80's were creating as he pedaled was too much for his breakaway companions to handle and they got dropped. There were several bigger teams there with 8 or more riders who I figured would do some work to bring Lance back but no such thing happened. It seems that they were all sprinters sitting in waiting for the sprint with me. Which brings me to the final lap.
I was feeling good at the bell. After not having done any work and taking good lines through the turns I was coming into the last turn in about 10th. Some might think this was too far back but the final stretch was sort of a long false flat into a downhill and there was a bit of headwind. I was feeling good so I knew I could blow past people as we got past the false flat. Unfortunately, I picked the wheel of Kyle Jones to follow. In hindsight, I definitely can't blame him because as soon as we came to the last turn I should have just nailed it like Steve Wahl did at Ride Sally Ride, because I felt good enough to hold it all the way to the line but instead of being aggressive and going on how I was feeling, I started thinking too much. I picked Kyle's wheel because he said he had been sprinting good and he's bigger than me so I knew he would be a good draft. But during the race he did too much work and didn't have enough for a final kick. I came off his wheel back to the inside of him where there was a group of guys about 4 wide in front of me. I panicked a little because I knew I was boxed in and running out of real estate. With the curb on my left, Kyle on my right and 4 dudes in front of me I was able to accelerate into a small gap in front of me and nudge my wheel in for 5th.
I'm kind of pissed with that result, because I know I lost that sprint from lack of confidence. I should have never went into it relying on someone else to give me what I need to get to the line first. There was nothing I could do about Lance, he was super strong that day, but I should not have lost that field sprint. I should've made my own way to that line. Instead 3 other pansies who I know I could've beat got there before me and that really gets under my skin.
Congrats to Lance on the win though. There's something about when a person has a plan and executes that plan to perfection that's just amazing to watch. Before the race Lance told me he was gonna go into time trial mode, and he did, and he won. I need to start applying that to the sprint and just speaking it into existence.