November 12, 2007
4th. It's just one of those results that plagues your thoughts for about a week after the race. I felt spectacular, rode a great race, made the splits, did everything textbook right down to the last 1km, then I blew it.
I had taken last week pretty mellow and could tell during warmup that it had worked. I was feeling it. From the start until mile 18 I was thinking of nothing else during the race than winning. I didn't hurt once and never felt threatened by the other riders, I was confident and feeling how I do when I win races.
Brian was too and I could tell. A couple times during the race we gave each other the look of "this is going to be fun" and I think we both new exactly what the other was thinking. Simonson and JHK were doing a majority of the work and I was content to let them. I think I could tell JHK was suffering a bit, but a guy like that can race at 80% and suffer and still be faster than me.
about 20 miles in Brian threw down the first attack I have ever seen in Iceman. I think it surprised a few riders. Normally the group just disintegrates until the last few climbs, but when Brian attacked at 10 miles to go, everyone looked around wondering what happened. Simonson finally reacted and put in a huge effort to bring it back, like 30mph for 2 minutes huge. Immediately after catching Brian I let out the next round, but it wasn't quite as good a spot for me being on a very long open flat section. After a minute or two someone put in the effort to bring it back and once again Brian was flying by as they made contact. Again they waited to chase and I went to the back to rest. Simonson was finally forced to chase, but this time I could tell he didn't have it. After a few good efforts he asked JHK to come through, but the speed dropped instantly and Brian had the gap. The remaining miles ticked away as Simonson and JHK traded pulls, but once Brian was out of site there was no way of bring it back. I could only sit on the back and smile knowing that Brian would pull it off and it was up to me to bring it in for 2nd for a Sheboygan one two.
That's were I blew it. I sat on the train for 8 miles at heart rate 160 planning. Twice Simonson dropped JHK on some climbs towards the end, and twice I waited a little longer when I should have dropped the hammer on JHK and kept the gap on him. Instead he came back to us twice which I never should have allowed. Truthfully, I thought he was done and pretty much was only racing Simonson, and I felt it was too early to try and hold him off on some the flatter sections so I played the game of waiting till the last climb - and lost. JHK had enough to sneak around us both before the 1k climb and when I went to stand up I cramped so bad I had to sit down. I think it was the slowest I went over the climb in all 5 years doing this race. It was the classic case of taking yourself out of the race by not racing for 9 miles before the finish and when it was time to go, the body forgot it was still racing and couldn't get back into it fast enough. So, instead of hopefully jumping them both for 2nd, I rolled in behind them in 4th without even giving it a go like I had been planning of 8 miles.
It was still one of the better Icemen I have done. It was fast and tactical and didn't quite go as normal which is always fun. Brian was the strongman with the perfect move and it paid off. The Ice trophy was in our car so that's always good, no matter who wins it. Good thing I've got a couple more weekends of racing left to get over this one.
at 4:39 PM