Thomas Ross Hallock

Coldspring 2005

Though Coldspring was not officially on the FCS / Compliance Depot cycling team‘s calendar, I made the decision to race this event in order to lessen my 7:10 ratio of mechanical’ed races to races attpmeted this season. My primary objective for this race was to judge my fitness during this time of the year compared to previous seasons. After two weeks of “racing vacation” since Fayetteville, I was ready to go again.

As the race began, I kept in mined that this course has a history of large groups easily riding off the front and staying away for the entire race. I made a point of chasing down most of the breaks at the beginning to ensure this wouldn’t happen again. After the first of five laps, two riders managed to get away, and the pack only seemed interested in chasing down people trying to bridge up to them. Over the next few laps of the race several large chase groups managed to bridge up to them, creating a rediculously large breakaway of 13 riders.

My experience has taught me that groups larger than 8 are usually unstable and do not work well together, so I remained relatively calm in the main field, keeping on eye on the riders I knew to be strong; Frank Breur, Ethan Frost, and Ian Dille, but this can sometimes not be the wisest thing to do. With one lap to go, my teammate Troy Dunton, doing what he does best, blew the field apart in the climp up to the start / finish line, trying to weed out the spent riders. The field fractured and a lot of legs were burned but the field mostly consolidated on the next false flat. There were still some hills left, and I knew the pack was becoming less responsive as the miles stacked up.

On the last hill of the course, and with about 15 miles to go, I attacked at the top. Ethan Frost of Team Brain and Spine was the only one that responded and stayed on my wheel until we were a safe distance from the pack. We began working together but kept a critical eye on the pack, trying to judge if we were making time or just working in vein.

When the road levelled off the pack began to draw nearer. I asked Ethan if he was going to give up. He said let’s slow down a little and see if anyone tries to bridge up, then we might be able to start putting time on the pack. Things went exactly as he had hoped and a Geri Atrix rider bridged up to us in very short time. Almost instantly our gap began to grow again and it became apparent that we were not being chased any more at this late hour of the race. After a few minutes I noticed a Herring Gas rider pull through in the rotation. I presume he bridged, but I never saw him coming.

Our group of four began working well together, excited about being in a successfull break, and believing that we just might have a chance of catching the group of 13 up the road.

As we crossed tho 1-mile to go sign, I gave up on this hope, as the break was still nowhere in sight. I knew that I was not going to outsprint the riders in my break, so I attacked with a little less than a mile to go. Ethan responded and the two remaining riders worked their way back on. as we appreached the finishing hill, I knew that there was not much I could do at this point, so I just hammered as hard as I could up the hill, still feeling pretty good. I went as hard as I could, but Ethan remained on my wheel with the Herring Gas rider following him. The Geri Atrix rider fell off the back, but Ethan and Herring Gas came around just before the finish line. I came in 16th.

Though I wish things had gone a little differently, I was happy that I was able to ride away from the field at the end of the race and look forward to many more good races this season.

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