Prinner Report: Kenosha & Beloit

Hey Team,
It’s definitely about time I started with the rider reports again since I’ve finally got something to talk about (let’s face it, nobody really wants to hear a report on the indoor TTs.  This is about the time of year that we all just prefer to forget about them). 
                My first race of the year brought me out to Kenosha to race on one of the widest, flattest courses I’ve ever seen in my life.  Not to mention one of the windiest.  And it didn’t help much that there was an airport next door, and a little ways from that a giant, smoke-belching factory of some sort.  I was a bit tentative at first seeing this; not sure whether I would come home with some sort of a mutation.  An extra leg wouldn’t hurt, really.  Anyway, I didn’t come to Kenosha to race with the women, as most would have assumed, but instead my first race of the season was with the cat. 1,2 men.  I thought it would be a good omen.  Actually it was more just for training purposes, because you can’t really go any higher than the men’s 1,2 field.  Well, I was definitely excited and ready to go out and kick some butt after a long, dull winter in the trainer (my rollers were out of commission for a while.  I trained so hard that I snapped them right in half.  If you ask Farrell he’ll say the molding was defective, but I like to think otherwise).  Plus, I just received my brand new ABR license, even though I was a little bummed it didn’t rank me as Super Galactic Professional like I had asked.  Oh well, maybe next year. 
                So the men’s 1,2 race began with a meager field of about 25 guys on the line (I was really hoping for a Superweek turnout of at least 120), but I still got my workout by sitting in and practiced basic pack-racing skills like moving up, holding my line through turns, fending off riders to keep my position and blowing snot on the rider behind me.  Since a decent sized breakaway had gotten away early on in the race, I figured going for the win was futile, and besides that the wind was really a monster and nobody’s bridging attempts were making it very far.  Rob Jungals attacked and stayed away to the finish on the last lap, while I attempted to secure a good position for the field sprint.  I somehow went from third rider with half a lap to being boxed in at the back by the last straightaway, so I counted it as a pack finish.  I was pretty pleased, though, with my first performance of the year, and I didn’t go home with an extra arm sticking out of my head from that scary factory.
                The next weekend I showed up at Beloit with only one desire in my mind as I stepped out of the car—to go home.  For some reason I had it in my mind the day before that it was going to be sunny and beautiful up at the crit/speedway, even though people were telling me left and right that it was going to miserable and possibly even snow.  So when I arrived at the race the following weekend, I was actually surprised to find that it was really, really cold.  And windy.  And believe it or not, the course was even wider and flatter than Kenosha, seeing as though it was actually a racecar course.
                I was even more surprised to find that about 12 women had actually decided to show up.  Did they, too, share the same mental delusion as me?  My own teammate, Sue, should have known better than this.  She pretty much all but writes a research paper on every race she does.  In fact, I wouldn’t doubt the odds of her knowing the ground temperature as well as the atmospheric pressure that day.  The day before she had been wisely hesitant about going, but I coaxed her with super slick words and convinced her to suffer with me anyway.
                So my original race strategy had been to wait until about halfway through the race to attack since it was 55 minutes long, and I figured that way I would conserve my own energy as well as whittle down the field’s.  Well, it sure sounded like a good plan, but in reality I attacked on the first lap, sending my race strategy right out the window.   Immediately a group of about five ladies formed and we worked together trading off pulls, steadily increasing our gap from the field.  That’s pretty much all we did for 55 minutes.  I decided not to attack since one of the riders was Kristen Wentworth, a super strong lady on Kenda Tire who is known for being a powerhouse.  To attack her would be like me trying to wrestle a grizzly bear.  Absolutely pointless.  So I put my money on the final sprint, hoping she wasn’t amazing at that, too.  The final lap arrived and Wentworth tried a beast of an attack, but I managed to catch her before any large distance was put between us.  For the remainder of the lap I sat on her wheel and then began my sprint way too early and suffered all the way to the finish line.  But I still won.  And I got two waterbottles and a baselayer long-sleeve out of it.  Hallelujah. 
                ‘Till next time,

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