July 28, 2019 - All the preparation in the world can't beat a good cold.
This was the last A race of the cycling season and coach Scott Revlin had me in great fitness and form. This was also the last big race of the local calendar. So, everyone came out of the woodwork for the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix. Typically, we would have a field of 30-50 riders for a race like this, but there was a solid field of 70.
The course is a 1.5 mi circuit with two 180 degree turns with a kicker coming out of turn one and a descent coming out of turn two leading into the final straight away.
For all the work that I'd put in over the last few weeks, I was really looking to get stuck in this race. Maybe go off the front and see if I could solo away from the field. All that confidence drained immediately after getting on the bike for a warm up, though. I could tell right awar that I didn't have it. I couldn't put any real power through the pedals. But, I gave myself a good warm up and headed to the start line.
With my legs not feeling it, I sat-in for much of the race. I gave a few efforts here and there to try to keep position in the middle of the peloton, but didn't make any meaninful moves until the final lap.
On the final lap, we came out of turn one and went up the little climb. At the top, I kept the power on as best I could and used my momentum (AKA fat) to mive into the top half of the field. Coming into turn two, I found my friend's wheel and crossed my fingers that he would move us into sprint position. With all that time in the back, I had no idea that he had just spent the last three laps off the front and was thoroughly cooked. We still moved up, but only as far as to the back of the bunch sprint field and never really had a chance to contest the finish.
A couple of hours after the race, I felt my throat start to get sore and got my first sniffles. I've never been happier to get sick. At least I had a reason for my drop in performance and loss of power.
In the end, a dissapointing end to a build training block, but it's hard to be too upset with a 23rd place finish in a field of 70 when you're not feeling your best.
A big thanks to my coach, Scott Revlin, and to AJB Coaching for having me fit. I only wish I could have brought home the hardware. More racing to come!