On Monday August, 1, Timothy Austen raced in the Tour de Terra Cotta race and he has sent us his account of the race.
We left the cottage at 5:00 a.m. to get to Terra Cotta for 8:30 we made not bad time and my dad got to his start on time. I then made my way over to the Prologue and rode to a fifth place – 7 seconds back. Not too bad as I was focusing on the road race today.
I then re-energized and hydrated and got ready for my 11:00 start. In those two hours the heat came out in a big way plus 32 and rising. The course was nice a hill about 750 meters in it – so it was no speed bump either it was about 500-750 meters long and was 5 percent for the first half and then 9 percent for 250 meters. Then the course flattened out for 6 kilometers with three right hand turns and some gusty winds then a 500 meter descent then it was 1 kilometer to the finish line and back around again.
We did the course three times so my plan was just to drill up the climb and eliminate my rivals and get it down to as few people as possible. Like a game of chess my odds were better with less people at the front and I wanted to be splitting it – this was the key – my pace we made the group smaller on my schedule. Off the start team CHCH drilled the tempo, okay fine with me. They do the work and I don’t then 100 meters before the climb they eased up I took the opportunity to attack. The peleton behind was fighting for wheels immediately up the climb I didn’t ease up. At the top of climb I looked around to see only seven riders.
Perfect, I thought just the right amount and the gap ballooned instantly. One rider in our group was not cooperating – that’s not gonna do I thought. I attacked and he was dropped immediately.
Now there were six, next time on the climb I hammered again and then there were four. I listened to the breathing and knew I could win this since they were all super tired and I was still flying. Last time up the hill I put it in my big ring and they melted off my back wheel.
I was alone just me and the road. I drove to the finish with the gap expanding with my pedal stroke. I don’t quite remember what I was thinking but I’m sure it was inspirational. My friend who died in an accident just a month and half ago, I’m sure he would have liked to see me win. My dad waiting at the finish line, he’d be happy to. All my living friends back at school. It was all touching stuff I’m sure though I was so close to vomiting the whole time I don’t think I could have slowed down even if I had wanted to. I came across the line to my first win of the season and my first win as a cadet.
It was blazing hot and I had the best ever tasting chocolate milk before promptly falling asleep on the car ride home and waking up to a mass of congratulating cousins.
Congrats Timothy on your first win of the season! What about you – have you raced – send us a race report and we’ll post it