Christian Meier, Andreas Hestler, Andrew Pinfold, Svein Tuft, Zach Bell, and Will Routley can all be found in the Escape Velocity record books. All of them have gone on to race against some of the world's best cyclists all over the world.
It's a little strange to think a guy like me is racing on the same courses that they have. I guess that is the beauty of cycling.
In 2011, which was my first year, the River Road course was my first ever competitive cycling event. It was a bit intimidating to say the least, even though I was just racing in the novice category. I managed to stay with the group for the first few laps, before I went a little too hard on the back portion of the course and was unable to maintain the pace. I finished alone, a few minutes behind the main group. Not a very promising start to my cycling "career."
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This year I'm hoping it will be a different story. I've put in a lot more time on the bike, nearly 30 hours more in 2012 alone. That isn't even counting the hours I did in December as part of the Rapha Festive 500. I'm also approaching the race in a better position mentally. I know more of what to expect in the race. Hopefully I will take smarter pulls at the front and manage my energy output a little better. My main goal is to finish with the group and maybe take a shot for the win if I'm still in contention at the end.
My kids will be out cheering me on with their cowbells, so I better not disappoint them.