April 25, 2011

Mitchell Memorial Road Race

I went out to the Mitchell Memorial Road Race today over near Cincinnati. The day started early (a little too early) with a departure time of 5:30. It poured the entire trip but luckily stopped in time for the race to get under way.  The race was 50 miles and not a ton of people showed up but there were still some good riders present. The race finished up a pretty decent climb so I like my chances immediately.

Once we were under way I put in some of my patented early attacks, but per usual, to no avail. We then got around to a pretty long descent and I took it easy as I had never been down it before and the roads were disgusting with debris and water. Two people actually got a gap on the descent (Brad Schaeffer-NUVO and Isaiah Newkirk). I rode on the front trying to keep the gap manageable until we got to the climb figuring it would all come back together. Once we hit the Climb Tyler Karnes (Hincapie Development Team) went and dragged me away from the group. As soon as he let up I went and bridged to the leaders solo. I had them by the top of the climb. We then traded pulls pretty evenly with Brad taking shorter pulls. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to conserve or was hurting. The next time up the climb Isaiah went and Brad didn’t follow. I went around Brad and it was just Isaiah and myself for the last 4 laps. We had a pretty sizable advantage and worked well together.

I began scouting the course for where I would make my move. There was a pretty steep little hill about a mile before the last climb and I decided to hit Isaiah hard right at the top, liking my chances if I could get a gap and turn it into an ITT, him versus me. I think this is the first time a plan of mine has actually worked. I went over the climb with a few seconds and ripped it on the wide open smooth pavement leading to the last climb. I felt great and knew after a glance under my arm that I had it. I hit the base of the climb and soloed to the victory.

It was not the biggest race, but nonetheless it was nice to get a victory, It was my first (of hopefully many) for Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist. Now to continue to work hard and accomplish the goals I have set for myself this season.

This coming weekend the whole team is getting together for a couple races, including the Cone Azalia Spring Classic which is a dirt/gravel road race near Ann Arbor in Michigan. I am looking forward to meeting the entire team and hanging out for a weekend of bike racing!

-Erik Hamilton

Pics courtesy of Jeffrey Jakucyk.