I think I would like to keep my five sentence writing limit to emails.
And so, I'm currently in the middle of Superweek, sitting at my gracious host's house in Mequon, WI, just north of Milwaukee. The season has been going fairly well and I am happy with some of my performances. Here are some quick notes about the major races I have been doing.
Joe Martin stage race at the beginning of May was exactly what I needed to bring my form around. It started with a challenging TT the first day in which I rode the same exact time as the year before. The racing after that must have been much faster than previous years, because I was in the pain cave both road days and got time cut the 2nd to last day, so was not able to compete in the final crit on Sunday. I still don't know if the racing was just faster this year, or if I was slower, or maybe a combo of both. The previous 2 years I finished the entire series, but unlike those years, the second road day was completely blown apart, which could show the difficulty of the new course and how teams rode it. I did get some great training in at least, and the whole week the weather was awesome.
The memorial day races were again good for my form, and I was consistent each day (minus the snake, which I still cannot figure out). Unfortunately I kept finishing a few places out of the money, which always stings a bit.
Tour of Galena brought some fantastic racing to hilly Illinois (I never would have thought) and I look forward to this race growing over the years. When I first rolled into town, the first thing it reminded me of was the rolling terrain of the Ardennes of southern Belgium, when I did the tour of Liege there in 2008. We also had a decent squad there both days, which was great since we were able to ride in support of Ben. After he smoked the time trial the first day, we were able to set him up well in the road race, in which he crushed and won. The final day crit saw many attacks but Ben did a great job of hanging tough and staying safe while the rest of us tried to keep everything together, and he took the overall!
The T.O.A.D. series again brought some very organized and fast racing to the Milwaukee area. This is definitely the race series of the future in the Midwest. I rode almost all the days (10 of the 11), finished in the money some and again enjoyed some fantastic weather. If they can add one or 2 more road days, this will series will be perfect.
The next 2 weeks off consisted of a trip around lake Michigan with Kim for a 4th of July vacation, which was Pure Michigan™ fun.
Now it's back to Superweek. The dynamic of the Superweek series this year has been different than in years past, with smaller field sizes and not quite as much power it seems in the field. Regardless, the racing has still been fast and it's great to be able to race so much in July, so close to home!
The first day of Superweek at Beverly I saw the winning break roll off the front, but was able to make a 1 lap bridge to make contact. After 3 more guys joined us, it was 9 total and we eventually lapped the field. It was a good thing, because I fell apart in the last 5 laps, getting dropped from the field and almost lost my lap lead. Luckily another rider helped pace me the final few laps so I retained my 9th place position and I kindly paid him for his services from my winnings.
Day 2 at the Geneva crit was another great day for ABD, as we did the ole 1-2 punch with Freund countering my solo move and lapping the field with Chad B. from Texas roadhouse. I know Ryan has been wanting that top step bad and I felt bad that I wasn't able to help lead him out more in the sprint, but my legs were fried and Texas roadhouse has some strong guys.
Richton I was 2nd at last year, so I wanted to do well again. After I missed the first break of 3 that lapped the field, I found myself in no man's land for 1.5 hrs of hard riding in a break with 2 others. It was a very hard way to take 6th place, but I managed.
The Willow Springs road race is a great course, and one that I also did well at last year. I got into an early break of 4 that put a minute into the field, but we were missing a couple key team representatives, so we got chased down. After a slurry of attacks went and got brought back, one finally stuck, but I was absent from it. I managed a 23rd overall, after the break of 10 stayed up the road with a few more hanging in the middle. Ben was with me today as well, but neither of us could manage to pick the right move.
Thursday and Friday took me up to the greater Milwaukee area for 2 races in which i took 24th in both, barely making some $$. The races so far in Wisconsin have seen double the numbers in field size, with the typical Superweek dyanmics of many attacks, and strong breaks getting away. Last night in Brookfield was especially hard, with a course that was both technical with a very long start/finish straightaway that saw very fast speeds. After the initial break of 8 got away the pace went down some, and I missed another large group off the front. Luckily the previous nights winner missed this move as well, and he put a huge bridge in, which I followed to regain contact to this massive group of about 20 riders. We stayed clear of the field, and this group broke in 2 before the finish. I finished in between both groups as I tried to make a late bridge to the first chase, but couldn't quite make the catch.
Downer ave is tonight, which is always a great venue! Oh and Voeckler is a beast.