Hillsboro Roubaix

Posted on 8:50 AM by Schottler

Most of the Bocomo peloton talked me into doing the Pro/1/2 87 mile road race in Hillsboro, IL. So I drove out there with two of my teammates, David Henderson and Ethan Froese, who are both VERY experienced road racers and good people to travel with.

120 people were preregistered for the this event, which is a way way bigger field then I have EVER raced with. My warm up consisted of riding to the wheel truck to drop off a spare set (which was full), so then back to the car, then to the starting line. Starting in the very back with Dave and Ethan. I was somewhat intimidated by all of the very fast looking people surrounding me, but was told that most of them really aren't that much far off from where I am. Anyway, we started off on our journey, which soon became a huge mess.

I wasn't exactly sure what everyone was trying to do, but it seemed like everyone was day dreaming of a victory as they continuously slammed on their brakes and flew off into ditches. Does this really happen in Pro/1/2 fields? Really??? This type of riding would NOT be tolerated in the bocomo peloton, Butthead would personally bitch slap everyone until they cried.

Pace wasn't easy, especially at the back of 120 people. Braking down hills and sprinting up hills and out of turns to not get gapped off. The whole course was like riding on Woody Proctor, lots of loose gravel, sharp turns, no yellow lines. Not ideal for a road race, but I didn't mind it that much. Ethan was the only one who got a water hand-up, but our guy didn't even see me coming into the last lap, good thing I brought a backup bottle, which emptied pretty quick.

Coming into the last lap, Dave and I started to move up the field. The field was still huge and I knew something was going to happen to split it apart, and I didn't want to be stuck at the back. With probably 20 miles to go the pace got insane. The race exploded apart, lots of groups forming, people falling out of the lead group like dying flies. Ethan bridged Dave and I up to a couple of groups and then I started pulling and managed to bridge up to the lead group, not knowing Dave was trying to sit on my wheel, getting put into the gutter. Right when I had the lead group a few bike lengths ahead of me (10-15 miles to go), my rear tire goes flat. I put my hand up, pull over, slam out my back wheel and looked for the wheel truck. There was no truck. Awesome. I waited 20 minutes for the cleanup truck to come by and pick me up, I sat in the bed for a nice relaxing ride back to the finish.

As for the teammates, Dan was one of the many that met a cone in the feed zone that you couldn't see (stupid and awful placement, especially with 120 people in a field with super small lanes). Ethan and Dave rode very well all day, but suffered from failed water hand-ups and cramped at the end of the race, right when it mattered. Overall, not the best day for CBC.

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