Marc in Syracuse, NY

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend. I'm always a little sad when I can't make it out to the "Quad City" races in Iowa...some of the best around on this holiday weekend.

This year, I traveled to Syracuse, NY for a stage race where I was looking to jump-start my racing season with a low-key event. Unfortunately for me, there would be no hiding from the Canadian riders that flew south for the weekend. Team RACE.com is one of a few well-funded, well-traveled Canadian teams that frequently show up at NRC events. For example, they placed 2 riders in the top 30 of the overal general classification at the Joe Martin Stage Race.

So what do you get when you combine a small Pro 1/2 field, 6 Team RACE.com racers and me? Attack, counter-attack, counter the counter-attack, lather, rinse, and repeat.

Stage 1 was an 87-mile road race where I was promptly left behind on the first ascent of the course's major climb, Stage 2 was a 1-mile individual time trial (I highly recommend eating a full-rack of BBQ pork ribs, corn bread, mashed potatoes and baked beans just before starting your next race), and Stage 3 finished up with a crit that was remarkably similar to the Melon City course.

Due to a miracle of math (oh, sure, no math miracles when I was taking my SATs), mysteriously absent riders, and my girlfriend Sarah--who managed to grab the attention of race officials who were packing up at the finish and ensured that I got credit for completing the road race stage--going into the last day of racing, I was in 11th place in the GC. That was just one place out of the money!

I would have to dig deep into my bag of tricks to simply survive one an attack-filled, brutal crit racing experience.

"Awww, jeez fella's, how about a little break here...you've already dropped me twice in the last two laps...seriously can we just chill?"

"Enough already, it's my turn."

"Look Ma, I placed 9th in GC and won $25!!!"

The moral of my race report? Well, sometimes, just hanging tough and doing your own personal best is enough to put a smile on your face at the end of the day.

-Marc Bertucco

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