by JJ Schmidt
This weekend of racing was extremely exiting and fun! This was my first time trial, my first road race and my first circuit race. I was a little apprehensive after not doing so well in my first two races (crits). I showed up later than I wanted to for the TT, but got to the start line on time. I didn’t know that they launched you off of a platform, that was pretty cool. I tried to get my speed up quickly, and then save my energy for the hills, but when I got to the hills I thought I still had a way to go and didn’t give it 110% like Buzz said. I got to the top of the last hill not realizing that it was the finish line and felt a little confused and disappointed that I didn’t give it my all. Now I know that recon is important, not that Jimmy hadn’t already told me.
The next day was the road race, I was pretty nervous. My goal was to hang with the pack for the first lap. I found myself at the front of the pack at the end of the first lap, and was pretty excited, but then I fell to the back of the pack on Mission and then got dropped. I knew I had to get back to the pack as soon as possible. I passed Ken, hoping he would jump on and we could work our way back to the pack, but I never looked back and kept pushing myself till I got back to the pack. Once I got back to the back I had some time to recover, and then work my way to the front of the pack and actually contribute and take a pull. To my surprise, I held on to the pack till the final sprint, but couldn't hang with Gary and the leaders. I dropped back and heard a guy say group on your right, so I started to move over to my left. To my surprise, there was somebody there and I almost took us out. To my great relief I was able to stay up and even sprint to the finish and move up a couple of spots in the overall standing.
The third and final day is the circuit race. I wondered if I still had anything left in my legs. We went over some last minute strategies and then headed to the start line. It was a good thing we did, because they started us off 3-4 minutes early. To my relief the pack did not take off in a mad sprint. I tried my first attempt at an attack on the rollers down speedway, then waited for the pack to catch me and tried to stay near the front and do what I could for Gary. At the start of the third lap I thought there would be more sprints and breakaways, but it stayed relatively calm. As we approached the turn onto Greasewood I jumped to the front sprinting up the first hill trying to give Gary a lead out, I wish I could have taken him farther, but Jimmy was there to take him to the finish line and grab some bonus points. I was so proud of Jimmy, he did awesome, I don't know that I would have shown up if I had the Flu. After that effort I thought I was done, but I chased down Jimmy and Ken and caught them on the first hill on Speedway after taking the corner too fast, sliding halfway around and luckily not going down. I was able to hang with Ken and Jimmy to finish the last two laps, sprint to the finish, throw my bike and grab 11th. It was a great weekend for me and I feel so privileged to be part of this team.