We are now entering the period of relative calm in the racing scene. A couple of crits are left, some circuit races and the uphill time trial at Crystal Mountain. But the best overall rider competition (BARR) is still a contested race. It’s a rather arbitrary set of races grouped together which rewards the person with the most total points over 7 races the coveted “1” jersey and free entry for the year. We first went to spokane for the criterium and road race, then it was off to Olympia for the circuit race championships. After that, we had the team time trial and the Bellingham stage race. Last weekend we faced the individual time trial in Tenino, WA, a hotbed for stuff and things.
Christine and Tricia lined up to race the womens race at the wee hours of the morning. On tap: 40 km of flat and rolling hills, a lot of wind and relentless daggers stabbing the legs. Christine had the pleasure of seeing the New Pornographers the night before and arrived with less than a full night’s rest. But she put in a good time and finished ninth. Tricia set out in pursuit of victory and got quite close. A mere thirty seconds separated her from first place. Let’s just say that a lot of the men racing this course WISH they finished as fast as Tricia. So Silver it was and TB is hunting for 3rd overall in the BARR.
JOD and I took the line in the mens race. I had a slim 15 point lead over Fleischauer, so the game plan was to put as many people as possible between the two and hope for the best. I gotta say, I was just gunning for third if I hoped for a good result. Sammy Johnson and Dan Harm were in the mix. Ian McKissick was an obvious top pick for the win, but he wasn’t able to make it–much to the elation of the other riders! JOD took off first for the team and charged up the windy and winding road. I took off last, which gave me the pleasure of having rabbits to chase that were 30 seconds ahead of me. I nipped off Kyle about 10 minutes into the race and passed my 1 minute guy shortly thereafter. I caught up to JOD about 10 miles into the race, after it looked like JOD had been taking a nature break on the side of the road. Turns out not to have been the case, but he did lose his chain off the chainring and had to stop to put it back on. At the turn around, I could see Mike Hone(y) had pretty much caught Fleischauer (Hone started 30 seconds behind Fleisch), so that gave me a little bump. I didn’t feel too fast on the way back. I was gunning to average 30 mph, since that was what it took to win it two years prior. So as I headed back towards the finish line, I thought I might have cracked the top 3–51.27 was my time. Turns out it was 4 seconds faster than Sam and 24 seconds faster than Hone (since he waited up for me…;)). A completely unexpected and remarkable end. I was hoping for the ride of my life and I did it. I just wish I didn’t have Fleetwood Mac stuck in my head from mile 14 to 24, altough that might have inspired me to go faster just to make it stop. JOD came in 14th, which was a solid ride considering his mechanical and the punishing course.
So another gold medal in the pocket and now about 87 points ahead of Fleisch and 96 ahead of Herriot for the BARR. One more to go to crown the victor (the uphill TT)!