Sunday morning I was planning to get up for a run but the movie on sat night kept us up until 10:30pm. Way past our bedtime. When the alarm went off at 5:30am I decided to stay in bed for 30 more minutes as Karel made himself a pre-race meal. I finally woke up and was ready for some coffee. I put on my running clothes and decided I would run when Karel and the guys were warming up and although I was only doing a short run, I knew the ups and downs of Ocala would make it a good workout. The drive was only around 2 hours and when we arrived, I couldn't believe all the linder capital guys who were racing. There was 8 of them which makes for a solid team of strong riders in a state road race.
I went for my 30 minute run and I was running up and down, up and down. It was hot, sticky and well, HOT so when I got back to the car I had just enough time to pour water all over me (A staple of cycling races, you must bring gallons of water for the cyclists to pour all over them when they are finished), take some pics, change and go to the starting line.
The race was 75 miles on a 5-mile loop course. After an hour of taking pics, I headed up a big hill to the feed zone with Kevin, who works at the Trek store w/ us. We were on water-bottle tossing duty all race so we strategically planned out how to pass 8 guys water bottles during the 3 1/2 + hour road race. All went well and we had a lot of fun. Of course, I wanted to take pics with my new camera the whole time but I guess sport drinks are more important than pics.
The race was really excited and Karel and the LInder guys were really strong during the race. Curtis, who placed 2nd on sat, landed in the break away group from the gun and after leading Saturday's race I could only imagine how sore his legs felt during the race. Curtis made it until 4 laps to go and dropped out because he cramped and didn't have anything left. I don't blame him..it is just part of the tactics of cycling. Karel, James and Jeff knew that Curtis was in the break so although the chase pack was getting close to the break away group, there was no reason to try to catch them right away in the race. It wasn't until around 4-5 laps to go that the 2min. lead of the break away group got caught and then everyone was together. Karel, James, Ryan, Jeff and Victor looked super strong and I knew these guys would have a good finish. Well, here comes the sprint to the finish (Karel's strength) and Karel was boxed in the middle and couldn't sprint. There was a 2 man break away on the last loop so the chase pack was sprinting for 3rd place and down. I could see Karel trying to dodge everyone and sprint but there was no where for him to go. Well, Karel ended up in 10th place and in his heart he feels like he could have gotten third and landed on the podium. Karel is just re-playing the moment in his head..."what else could I have done to get there???" but I think he is finally feeling like all the training is paying off and he is ready to race. There are no BIG races coming up but Karel is racing plenty for the next month or so. Well, I know these Linder guys are going to have many more great races and I can't wait to be there and take some pics!