TOAD Day #6
by Rahsaan on June 26th, 2013

Day #6
Tour of Americas Dairy Land
Schlitz Park in my humble opinion is one of Americas greatest crit courses. Ill take you back….
In 2001 I came to Wisconsin alone to race “super week” SW was the longest stage race in the US at the time, 22 days I believe of 90 mile road races and 100k crits. The crits were so hard, every night we raced for good money at high speeds and for at least 2 hours.
Back to 2001 when I showed up here and raced Schlitz Park, it was known as the super prime day, anywhere from $500-$2000 cash primes throughout the entire 100k race. Sounds fun until you see the hill they throw in the middle of the course.  That special night in 2001, I won about $4,000 in primes, It was incredible, I was just a kid racing against the pro’s.
Fast-forwarding back to yesterdays race, though not the same exact course as SW, it still utilize the hill to separate the boys from the men.
The morning of the race I went out for a ride and my legs were so so so bad. I didn’t know if I would start or not but at the end of the day, it’s not about me. There are people out there that would give anything to be in my position, to have a chance to race on a national caliber team, compete in this event, Tour of Americas Dairy land.
So I geared up and started the race. From the gun my legs were bad. I tried staying relaxed as possible but that didn’t help much. My legs felt tight and empty. Lap after lap I’m closing gaps as guys are loosing the wheel and dropping out. There was a point where the field split up the hill and I was about 20 guys from the back, I knew there I had to just dig up the hill and wish for the best. As I stood up to attack I had some decent power (though it hurt) and I’m making good progress until I fell into a hole which caused my bars to rotate downward by about 4-5cm. Boom, I have an excuse to drop out now right? Nope, Thinking about people who have passed away, people who can’t ride a bike and further more, my sponsors and my family. Sponsors don’t pay money to have you drop out and be a spectator and you don’t leave your family for 18 days to be a spectator.  So even with my bars in a compromising position, I continued to compete.
About 1 hour into the beat down, my legs started to come around and I was able to move closer to the front of the field, which lap after lap had guys going bananas on the climb. 
As the race went on, I got stronger and stronger. I had a fan club at the top of the hill yelling at me every single lap “Go Bahati” “Don’t Give Up”. Thank you guys and gals, they really gave me that extra push to keep digging.
In the last 3 laps I did my best to hold position on the climb but there were guys digging deeper than my body could go. On the last lap I had in my head I would just attack on the climb and see how long I could hold them off on the flat. Sound like a great idea but 10 other guys had the same idea.
I finished the race and crossed the line 20th.
Today is an off day for me, at least on the bike. I have tons of Hutchinson business I need to do, so ill be around in your local Wisconsin bike shops today. If you see me say hi, ask about Hutchinson and maybe there is a prize at the other end of your answer.
My next race will be Elkhart Lake Road Race held on the world famous Road America race track.

Our Sponsors: Hutchinson- Wheel&Sprocket- Felt- Mercury Wheels- Shimano- Sidi- Skratch Lab- Athlete Octane- Button Hole- MUTH-Thompson- Pactimo 


The Finish 

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