A 'Toona wrap, and a quick backyard romp through the Wilderness 101
this past week culminated a season of wonderful training and racing at the I'national Tour De 'Toona out in wonderful Al-toona, PA. Both Nick and I took part in our perspective racing categories, he in the Cat 4's and I Cat. 3's, and ended with some good results and a lot of experience. 7/28 Tour de Toona Points race Martinsburg Circuit Race. Well I must say the key word for this race had to be crash. After being told of how the Jamaicans call the rain "liquid sunshine" due to the steady drizzle happening before the race start, the category 3 race began and 30 seconds off of the starting line and onto the course, a rider was riding the center line, which so happened to turn into rumble strips, and took himself and about 2o fellow riders down, and pushed other riders off the right side of the road. A beautiful start to a frightening race. After about half of the first lap, and numerous crashes/punctures/mechanicals took many riders out of contention, a driving rain and gale force wind combo made for a punishing struggle back towards Martinsburg for the second of the two lap race. With few hills on course and no breaks to speak of the field moved pretty quickly through this race and gunned toward the ending 5 wet and slippery corners to the finish line that accounted for 5 more crashes and my near crash in this race. In the end I found 39th place because of my slip up but stayed safe. Nick on the other hand had a dry race because of the Cat 4's early start and came out flying with a 5th overall. 7/29 Blair County/Altoona RR Race of Attrition. Quite brutal. This 70 miles jaunt through the back country wound the Category 3 field 4 miles up blue knob, as well as 4 other KOM worthy climbs including one completely off-road climb. Needless to say, when the field hit the blue knob hill, the race exploded into a bunch of little chase groups and the front group of 10 or so. I was relegated to the first chase group and played chase the whole time with a few others, most of which didnt want to work to get towards the front group. So our pitiful chase ended up amassing about 30 riders before a few people took off at the front and held the lead on the last long climb of the day before a speedy downhill through horseshoe curve and into Altoona. By the time I made it to the 3k to go sign, entire quadricep began to seize up into one enormous ball of muscle and severely limit my ability to finish the brutal day. After dragging some non-pulling riders to the line, i made a decent 29th overall. 7/30 Downtown Altoona Crit The final day after the first 100 miles of the race was pretty easy, despite being a crit. The course was a relatively short fast mile loop through downtown altoona with 6 turns and 2 short climbs. It made for a fun sight to see and an even better course to ride. A quick start led to many riders dropping off of the back and the pace was kept relatively high. It was uneventful expcept for the final lap when a small group of 3 got away and took the top spots with the field gunning for the rest. I ended with a 28th overall. Nick took 19th in the Cat 4's A fine end to a full weekend of races. Back to Saturday again. The Wilderness 101 race. Mike Maher was the lonely contestant from Indiana Cycling to take on the brutal 11000ft of climbing and 101 mile course since I decided to opt out for the road this year. He had a difficult start finding a rythem for the race but once he found his pace, breezed through the course to chop off an excellent 30 minutes from last years time to 10 hrs even. A great race.
Posted by Alex cox