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The Paul Mach Blog - Mt. Hamilton got Bisselled

Living life on the edge... of the road
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Mt. Hamilton got Bisselled
Monday, May 25, 2009 - Race Reports
Hi Mom!! They don't call it the Mt. Hamilton Classic for nothing. The race goes up and over Mt. Hamilton and finished with a hard 40 miles into Livermore. The list of winners includes all the big names and Bissell showed up with 3 of them, me, Ben Jacques-Maynes and Eric Wohlberg.

The race started with a bunch of early attacking. I watched as Ben and Andy followed moves and when they came back I figured it was my turn. What seemed like a good idea at the time turned into a 45 minute suffer fest. After much pain I crested the climb about 40 seconds ahead of the field, taking the KOM.

Jackson Stewart (the cyclist, not Miley's brother) caught me on the decent and I just sat on his wheel. I felt bad, but Jackson is pretty high on my list of people not to go to the line with. In fact, that list is pretty long and includes just about everybody. Plus, Ben and Andy were in the field.

After it came back together we rode steady for a few miles before the attacking started again. There were a few good moves that I thought would stick, but they all came back. I took a solo flier with about 5k to go. I didn't know I was so close to the finish, I just figured I should counter whatever had just come back.

When I hit the bottom of the decent I realized there were only about 3k left and I had a gap that could go either way. Here is a transcript of my inner dialog during the last 3k.
  • 3k - Damn it, it's a good gap, this is going to hurt
  • 2k - You can do this, dig deep, dig deep
  • 1.8k - Oh God, too deep, too deep.
  • 1.75k - He he, girls tell me that all the time
  • 1k - Maybe if I make an intense face, it will ease the pain
  • 500m - Where is that f***in' finish line?
  • 150m - It hasn't been 500m yet?
  • 30m - Crap, someone is passing me
  • 10m - Oh good, it was just Andy
So I finished 2nd, Andy won and Ben was 4th in the sprint. I was very happy with the race. I raced smart with my teammates and got the KOM.

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