Monday, April 19, 2010

Ending a season, Closing a chapter

The 2010 conference championship weekend hosted by the Virgina Tech Hookies marked the end of the ACCC season, but it also marked the end of my 4 years as collegiate cyclist. This weekend definitely marks as a highlight for my career not only for outcomes but for a great time.

Leaving around 5pm on Fri, the wind was tremendous for the entire drive there. With a motorcycle, 3 bikes and also some vitamin water, it was struggle but we arrived at our destination, staying with a graduate hookie, my spot on the couch was rather comfortable.

Waking early on saturday we headed to the race, bundled up and hoping to not blow away (this was probally the earliest we have ever made it to a race). Everyone got ready, and mingled with the other riders. Some of our riders also rode around the little girls bike that was brought around.

Soon the men's A and Men's B races were off. The men's B rolled out smoothly but unfortunately there was an early crash about 5 miles sending an UMD rider to the hospital. The men's B went over the first climb as a group only dropping a select few. Over the long shallow climbs to follow the pace dropped, and I saw an opportunity to attack and jumped. After getting away from the group I hit a huge head wind and was very happy to see a Duke ride bridge to me, know I head two of my teamates and now his teammates helping to block. We were out of sight of the peleton quickly and never looked back. We negotiate the intermediates giving him the sprint and me and the KOM. On the final lap, unfortunately he rode off from me on the hill, and we both soloed into the finish. After waiting for awhile at the finish line, I was very excited to see teammate Brad taking the 3rd place finish with a small group right behind him.

Next, the second wave of races went off, and our Boys in D came around looking strong going to the finish line.

The past part of the day involved the Team Time Trial. James B, Duncan O, Brad D., and myself lined up for the men's B send off. James got us out on a great start making sure to keep all of us intact. After James got us started he pulled off and left it up to the other 3 of us. With little talking but plenty of grunts, moans, yelps, and in duncan's case whimpering/crying we sat at and above our thresholds for the next 16.5 miles of rollers, hills, and high wind, clocking a time in the 40 minute mark. Brad was the strong hold, leading us over the hills, and making sure to give us the strength the push forward, I was to give duncan a helping hand over the climbs, and set the pace on the rollers, and duncan gave us the tempo and lead the descents. Duncan, has spent over the long shallow climbs as Brad escorted and I made sure to lend a hand to carry, after my long solo ride earlier in the day, I felt the pain in the last mile and turned myself inside out to not let my team down, and the result was well worth the pain, as we won by a mere 5 seconds.

A great dinner and some celebration was at hand after the day followed by another night of sleep on the couch. My sleep was interrupted by James sleep walking in the middle of the night. We got to sleep in a bit and then headed to the crit.

Our riders in the morning looked good. And enjoyed the course. Our next riders where in the Men's B, where Brad covered all the attacks and duncan held in the front nicely. I tried a flyer which failed. The final lap was intense as the start finish was on a brutal climb each lap. Duncan and brad sprinted for 5 and 6 respectively and I took 11th. Brad was able to pick up two primes, I took 1 and Duncan took a 4th place prime also.

This was a great weekend, and I couldn't have asked for a better closer to my collegiate racing career.

James M. Schulte

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