SBC 2008 started off in a bad way. In the interest of conservation and all that good stuff I had been trying to secure a carpool partner. Last week I made a long, lonely trip to Amesbury cross and passed several guys on the highway that raced the same race as me and were also driving alone. Made no sense. So I thought I had the carpool thing locekd up for SBC but the dude overslept or something. The family was shipped into shape and forced to make the trip against their will.
This venue is great. A super nice group puts this race on with all proceeds to support a local charity, this year, a kid from town battling cancer. The organizers are Jack Chapman and Justin Ziemba. There: I named names. These are good guys.
I missed a chance to preride the course (again) but I'd be damned if I wasn't going to get a good warm up in anyway. I was running my second or third set of back up wheels, the course was dry and fast so no real need to put time on the fancy schmancy FMBs which are best suited for slightly to very muddy courses.
The course was the same as last year, an uphill paved start with a left hand 90 degree turn onto a very loose gravel drive. Then a turn onto a field section which wound left, right, up and down, over a bridge and ended with two barriers. That led directly into a wooded path area, that was a straight shot for perhaps 200 yards. Another 90 left for 150 yards of path and out into a sand pit. Across the pit, turn around, come back through, then another 180 out to the paved area of the start.
If GPS is your bag, check out the motion based data for the race here. Course map, speed, temperature, elevation... all sorts of good data.
I lined up at the front and had a great start, getting the hole shot and being first into the left hander off the pavement. Too hot though, momentum took me directly off the right hand side of the course. If this super sketchy move scared the rest of field, it only lasted for 1/2 a lap, because they all came roaring by before we made it to the woods. The uphil paved start area felt steeper and steeper each go around.
I settled in with two other guys in the 7-8-9 spots. They paid 8 deep so I really wanted to stay with these guys and hope for a bit of extra kick or one of them to drop off the pace. We'll with 4 to go someone did fall off the pace: me. Exhausted, I was struggling to keep my bike upright and on course, and the small group that was right behind was gaining on me.
the other guy in this photo was one of the group of 3 I was in. He rode away from me on a bike made of my crushed bones. To rub it in, he drove to Portsmouth NH later that day and did the pro 1/2/3 criterium. How annoying is that?
Watching the last paying spot ride away I managed to dig deep into the suitcase of courage and hold of the other riders and finish 9th overall.
Apres ride Cory and I endulged in a huge ass cupcake with a chocolate bar on top. CJ did the kids race and won his age group. We drove home and lived happily ever after.