Finish The Test
Posted on July 10th, 2012

I have to first give thanks to everyone who helped make the Dairyland trip a reality for me. In no particular order: Time Bicycles, Velo Pasadena, Sidi America, HED Cycling, Pactimo, Predator Cycling, Sock Guy, Cytosport, Louis Garneau.

Last but not least my wife and kids for allowing me to live the dream one last time, to all the fans who cheered for me and to everyone on facebook, twitter and the Bahati Foundation supporters. Huge thanks to my parents, the Rudruds, Team Sports, Dreambikes, Brian Petted and everyone in Wisconsin who took good care of me while there.

In the words of hip-hop mogul Sean P.Diddy Combs, other times known as Puff Daddy. “ Cant stop, wont Stop”. This phrase can also be found from cycling ambassador Adam Myerson.

So here we are. It’s the last day of an 11 day adventure. This race brought me pain and joy. Even with my crash on the first day, I still had joy. You may wonder how’s that possible. It is possible because the man upstairs we cry out to always have a plan and I do believe that.

After I crashed and broke my bike and thought for the night I broke my wrist, I said to myself, it wasn’t meant for me to win that first night, to stay upright, to be in the running for the yellow jersey so soon. My plan was already set. It was a test!

The test in my eyes was to see how strong I would bounce back. Would I allow a setback to set me up for failure? Was I willing to make the sacrifice and race with a swollen wrist, go two days without riding and race again. The entire race was one big test. Ill give you my grade at the end of this report.

After tubing in Lake Geneva the morning of the final day of ToAd, I headed 70 miles west to Madison, Wisconsin. Sometimes known as “Mad Town”. This day was sooooo hot and humid.

My mindset for the day was JUST RACE. In the beginning of the 90 minute crit around the State Capital, we had to negotiate tight turns and a hill that took a little bit out of your legs every single lap. At least it did for me.

After several failed attempts at a break, one big move went that had the yellow jersey of Kenda p/b 5hr energy, the young La Grange kid whom was leading the NCC event, strong man Rory Southerland of United Healthcare and a few others. I found myself making a full lap dig to catch this break and it hurt like none other.

After I got there, we fooled around for a lap and bam, the field is not behind us. I thought for sure this break would roll as I took TWO kenda guys with me and now they have 3 represented in a break of 7. No dice…reshuffle.

That bridge really did a number on me, I hurt really bad and was having a hard time recovering and breathing,

I finally recovered and now we’re seeing 19 laps to go. As the laps count down positioning is everything. I fight for wheels but was very aware to make sure I didn’t use a ton of energy doing so.

With 8 to go, BAM I’m caught in a crash. One guy is rolling over my back tire, the other guy is cutting me off and one guy is cutting the edge of my shoes off with his front wheel. Here we go again is what I’m thinking, but like I said earlier, it was all a test. I saved myself from crashing however I lost position I fought so hard to keep. Thanks to Stu Press from Velo Club La Grange who yelled at me “NO FREE LAPS”. Because I sure was headed to the pit and that would have been the end of my race as the free lap rule was over.

I got my act together and with 3 to go found myself in a great spot to go for the race win. Going into 2 to go, in still sitting pretty and with 1 to go I lost position. Now I’m in 10th position with 3 turns to go. Turn 3 was my favorite as I could drill it and take more speed through it than most guys felt comfortable with.

I let a little gap open up from the 9th place guy to myself. As we approached turn 3 (which lead us into the 400m hill) I took a run at the turn and came out the turn with lots of speed.

Even though I had 500+ meters to the finish line, I just snapped it into the 53x11 and started my sprint. By the time I reached the 200m mark before the last turn, I had already passed the field going 4-5mph faster. I took the turn full speed and felt like I was on a moto GP bike.

As I turned straight, I looked through my arms and didn’t see a wheel in site and knew I had just won my first race of the season and the last race of Toad. I passed the test!

Thanks again to everyone who made this trip happen. It was definitely a family affair and one to remember.

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