Sunday, April 19, 2009

Game Over

This weekend was the last race of the collegiate season: Conference Championships at Wake Forest University over in Winston Salem.

I was feeling very good going into the RR Saturday. We had a nice late start time, and my easy ride Friday had kept my legs feeling great. The race went well for the first two laps: the course was ludicrously flat and the group stayed bunched up, because no one was driving the pace and there were no geographically-mandated selection points. Our overall points leaders were content to sit in and let it end in a field sprint.

Up the first hill (which isn't really much of a hill) on lap 1 I got on the front and drilled the pace, hoping to spit a couple people off the back just from the acceleration, and string things out. I was moderately successful at doing this, but when I pulled off and signaled for second wheel to pull through, he didn't. Now not pulling through is a valid race tactic, but 5 miles into lap 1 it's just bad form not to - this early in the race no one is going to be close to blowing up, so it's just annoying. So I rolled my eyes, pulled for 30 more seconds, and repeated. Eventually they got the message.

The race was pretty uneventful. It was sketchy as hell because the course was flat and we were competing for 1.5 times the normal amount of points. There was a prime on the second lap, which I went waaaay too early for and ran out of gas about 100 feet short of the line and got passed by a bunch of Navy riders. Oh well, it felt good to have some open road for once to sprint on.

On lap 3, a rider from UMD (number 381 - Mathew Dantas, according to the race results) who had been all over the fucking road the entire race clipped the non-sketchy Duke rider's front wheel because he didn't know how to hold a line. I'm directly behind and to the right of Duke (we're all in the left line). Duke goes down amid a shower of profanity and I go down with him - no time to react at all and nowhere to go. We're doing about 25 mph as we come down, me slightly on top of him. Immediately I'm run over by about 5 or 6 additional riders. I'm curled up in a ball, trying to make a small target until the noise stops. When I stop feeling things fall on top of me, I uncurl and start to survey the damage. It was one hell of a pile of bodies and bikes.

The short version is that was the end of the race for me - my bike was FUBARed pretty good and I had some pretty spectacular road rash (and as I found out in the next few minutes, a severely sprained and possibly broken right wrist).

The full list of casualties:
  • road rash on my right knee
  • road rash on my right hip
  • tire rash on my back x2
  • bump on my head
  • severely sprained wrist / possible hairline fracture
  • bruised right calf
  • torn up glove
  • blood and grease on abraded team kit
  • broken *left* pedal
  • bent derailleur hangar - time for a new one
  • possibly bent rear derailleur
  • wheels moderately out of true
  • scraped up saddle
So yeah, I don't recommend crashing - it gets expensive.

I plan to get my wrist x-rayed Monday, but in the meantime the pain is not bad, but it's swelled up pretty nicely.

I did not race the TTT, obviously. Half of the A teams (Wake, Navy, App) got lost and did the wrong course. Our A team won! Our b team posted a mean time and also did really well in the Crit Sunday morning. The dinner Saturday night was a blast, and I somehow slept through Hannah, Will, Nic, John, and Matt coming into the room at 2 am absolutely smashed and carrying on for an hour or so. Good times.

I am of course disappointed that I didn't finish the race, but I was feeling good and kept a good pack position through the whole race. I'm definitely becoming more skilled at this sport. I most likely be off the bike for a while for my wrist to heal, but I definitely want to do some racing this summer and keep getting faster. Next year, I want to be able to tear the B field up!

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