Glory Thief

I did a cycling race today. It was the Mason Lake Road Race on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. I went down with Brian Davis and his wife Marijana. This was Brian’s first road race, and my second, so we were both entered in the Cat 5 group.  Marijana and I have had our differences in the past (mainly because she always beats me at board games), but I’m pretty sure she was the only significant other that actually wanted to drive 2 hours from Seattle to watch her loved one race. Props to her.

image I did this race once last year, and at the end I was bummed out because it came down to a sprint finish that I was scared to take part in, so I never actually got to race hard. (It’s difficult for me to grasp the idea of a race that doesn’t actually push you to your physical limits. That’s more like Golf). In order to make sure i didn’t have the same experience this year I decided I would take off about half way through the three loop, 36 mile, course. Furthermore i wanted to have some fun with it, so I was going to do a couple attacks early just to see how people would react.

There were some problems with that strategy. First, nobody in the pack is interested in chasing down a solitary cyclist who makes an attach 7 miles into a 36 mile race. Second, I’m too stubborn to sit up and let the group catch me when I realize they’re not going to chase. Third, I have not been training for a 30 mile time trial on a road bike.

Still, I put a pretty solid lead on the group, caught the CAT 4’s (who started 5 minutes up on us). I won, but it was definitely not a smart race, and could have been much less painful.

So here’s the bummer about the whole day: My good friend Brian Davis clipped another riders rear wheel and went down hard in the first lap of the race. Unfortunately I didn’t know about it until after the race or I probably would have stopped, seeing as how I was his only way of getting to the ER. The X-Rays show a fractured scapula and clavicle, which is pretty bad news for a swimmer.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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  1. Nice job Ben. Sorry Brian – maybe stick to triathlons, at least that way – we’re generally responsible for our own back luck (unless you happen to be at a national championship and get to close to Ben). Get well.

    You’re also almost ready for a 70.3 race.

  2. yeah, i have a cat 4 license which isn’t really any better than Cat 5 – pretty useless for guys like us unless we want to practice our road bike time trialing. i’ll probably do a few (actual) time trials this year, but no road races.

    maybe you can write to the guy in charge of license upgrades in your USCF zone to see if you can get an upgrade to a cat 4 or 3 based on your triathlon resume and a couple bike race results.

    bummer about your friend – hope he gets better soon. that’s definitely reason #1 or 2 why i’m staying away from road races this year, but then again falls happen all the time on the bike for various reasons, so no one is immune.

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