OTB Driveway Finish…Same Old Story

The Driveway was packed last night for ladies night and the P1/2 contingent was stacked w/ all the San Jose guys back for this weekend’s Tour of Austin omnimum. Barry Lee, Ronnie Strange, Heath Blackgrove, Sean Sullivan, Robbie Robinette, Rurri Day-Stirrat and Robert Biard. ALL of the races were fast tonight. Riders were single file much of the early laps with gaps forming everywhere. One of the rare 3/4 breaks actually got away successfully. Wes Jerman worked like a horse to bridge with a wheel sucker for about 4 laps – strong ride. Johnathon Perry, who hung at the back early – surged for a great finish trying to pull the pack back to the break. Brent rode strong but abandoned like me – but he was beat up after a finish line crash at HHH.

I raced awful, as seems to be the case recently. The pace was way too fast from the clip in. I slotted in at third in a line of riders single file covering about 1/5 of the course. It was the top short course which I have begun to like and it was fun as usual. After about 5 laps (still in 3-4th) the pace never settled down. No rest spots. Everyone was hammering out of the turns all the way around. About 18 min. in, on the finishing straight, I went wide to follow my draft and about 20 guys went by on the inside (left). I had to stand late in the stretch to get on the back of the last rider in that surge. Got on, but a big surge after the backside S’s left me gapped (with about 10 behind me) and I couldn’t get it back. I rode solo a lap and on the next lap about 5 more went around. I was at 182 most of the race and was at 185 at this point, in the drops with waning power. Looked back and there were about 15 still behind me in 3 seperate small groups. They 1st group was 1/3 lap behind me so I punked and rolled off with 5 go go. Daniel Sato had the ride of his season. In the pack all thru the early blistering laps and moving up when things settled down. Nice surges and smart use of energy. He placed very well in such a quick race.

Immediately after I abandoned I was angry with myself. Two reasons – earlier in the year, when I was dropped I finished every race regardless. That made me better mid-season when I had a series of pack finishes. Secondly – the pack rolled up for the 1st time with 5 to go, compacto’d and softpeddled to prep for the finish. 5-4-3 to go were all managable laps. Had I hung in another lap, I might have gotten back on and finally got the rest I needed to recharge. Didn’t happen, and I’m certainly not happy w/ myself.

I’ve been taking 1000 mg of Clarithromycin (an antibiotic) daily for almost two weeks now for a throat infection. That’s a big dose of a powerful antibiotic and I do think (hope temporarily) it’s affecting my performance. I take it in the AM and it makes me feel queasy and certainly not very hungry. That metallic taste in the back of the mouth. Have about 3 more days to deal w/ these pills and I’m done. Guess we’ll see if things improve after that.

I have signed up for the Cat. 5 race at Manda on Saturday. Hope I’m feeling good and can pull off some sort of redeeming (at least in my eyes) performance.

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