by John Bailey, Celo Pacific


I have had very little training time this Spring due to a longer than anticipated recovery from my jaw surgery.  I am traveling for work the next few weeks so I figured I better get out and do at least one road event before I start training for the Fall cyclocross season.


The Boulevard race course is pretty much a climber’s course and it wreaked havoc on me last year.  Given my state of fitness and recovery, my goal was to treat this as a “training race” and maybe crack the top 20 out of about 70 riders.  We started off a bit slow and I didn’t get a good warm-up.  Midway on the first climb, I started to go cross-eyed and felt my heart pounding through my skull.  I backed off a bit and let the lead group of about 10 guys go.  With a pounding headache, I then chased a group of 4 for about 15 miles with them just out of reach.  I had a teammate in that group who was trying to slow them up enough to get me on, but the winds took their toll on me and I had to back off.


A group of 4 guys caught me at the foot of the climb on the final lap.  I kicked it up a notch and they suffered in silence behind me.  They wouldn’t pull through so I just put my head down and kept going.  About 20 minutes into the climb, I saw a group in front of me and I really opened it up, jumping out of the saddle and shaking off 2 of the 4 in my draft.  I then noticed that my teammate (Jens Raz) was in the group I was now approaching (he was wearing black shorts so I didn’t recognize the uniform :/).  It is very bad form to pull guys up to your teammate – especially one that is going for GC points in the stage race.  At that, I sat up and slowed way down.  This caused enough confusion in the guys desperately holding my wheel, that my teammate was able to get a good lead on us.  I sat in the group, slowing the pace whenever I could by getting on front and then slowing down.   Once I was sure he was far enough ahead to assure his finish, I stood up and hammered my way to the finish – dropping the 6 chasers behind me.  We finished 14th and 15th respectively out of about 70 riders – the results page only showed 23 but I think they shorten the list to those who have GC points or something.


I had a lot of fun playing the team tactics and I was quite happy how strong I felt on the second lap.  My fitness is clearly less than the cross season, but that is expected.  Our team puts on a race May 6th, but I will have only been home from my China trip a short while so I doubt I will be over my jet lag enough to race in earnest.  After that, I will begin the long training cycle to bring me up for the Fall cross season.  Until then….


A smiling finish?  I guess I should have worked harder! 



My teammate Jens showing how to suffer across the finish