From Bike Tour to Peloton, a Leg Conversion

SRAM Chicago Criterium p/b Goose Island Beer Company Men's Category 4

This was my first race since Galena RR and after taking a month off to bike tour. I was pretty gassed at the end. I started the race in the middle of the field and the tempo was combat speed from the whistle. The course was painted with neon illuminating the hazards on the road every 50 feet and the thought of aiming at every one in hopes of flatting out flashed in my brain. I bury the thought and begin to move up to my teammate James. He is looking strong and I plan to hang with his wheel. This works for a lap or two and I begin to creep towards the back. I still find strong wheels but the yo yo of the peloton is taking its toll. Racers back here are fatigued and making bad choices. I make another push to move up.

It seems every time I look at my bike computer we are cruising at 29mph. There are now 8 laps to go. I haven't been pulled from the large field. This is my new goal- don't get pulled. I move up only to be strung out in the corners. I'm getting annoyed which also means tired. Why is this junior taking three bike widths to sprint after every corner? Tom worry about yourself. Two to go. Why am I at the back?

The announcer even called me and another gent out starting the final lap "there is carnage at the back of the pack" I thought I was the carnage until the chicane on the back side. The top ten of the field wrecked and the true carnage was the entire width of the road. I weaved around as a new pack formed and made the final two corners and put whatever I had left into my sprint. Sure there was no contention in our placement but it still feels good to feel horrible after a race.

-Tommy R.