Some of my favorite races of the year are approaching, as I successfully suffered through the RAGBRAI induced racing drought in Iowa... can't blame race directors for not wanting to have races that conflict, but I get the feeling that a lot of 'racer types' tend to burn-out about this time of the year, and not having local racing options might be a contributing factor. Of course,the blazing hot temps may have been discouraging as well.
I am sort of interested to see if I can get my hands on one of the new State Championship jerseys. Only one awarded in each discipline (crit/road/tt/cross) to the top Iowa Cat 1,2. Teammate Paul Deninger and legendary powerhouse Jeff Barnes probably would have to be considered the 'favorites' for the time trial. I came in third to them in 2011, after winning the event in 2010. Your guess is as good as mine, as to what kind of ride I will have, I just hope American Equity can bring home the jersey and that I can get another gold medal in the Category 2 division.
After that is the 97 mile State Road Race. I previewed the new route and was surprised by the challenging profile of the first half of the 32 mile loop. It seemed like a never ending rolling climb. Just as you crest one hill, another one looms off into the distance. Should be 'epic'. I feel pretty strong, having made some adjustments based on the situation at the Quad Cities Road Race. Not sure who is going to show up from my team other than Paul, but I am prepared to leave it all out on the course. I will shoot for a top ten result (in the money). If we have 3 or more guys, then my goal will be team-based, and aimed at getting one of us on the podium. Again, the State RR jersey would be a nice acquisition for the American Equity Team. I will have to wait to see who shows up before I decide on my ambitions... Of course, just simply finishing a 97 mile race against Cat 1,2's is not something I should take for granted. I will have to race smart if I hope to still be with the group until the end.
I have been wanting to race a Team Time Trial ever since I got into racing against the clock 5 years ago. It has never panned out, as I can never seem to find 3 other guys to race with. Last year was my best shot, as I was on a team that had plenty of guys with TT bikes, however the race was cancelled.
So, this could be the year, but only time will tell if the AE squad is able to put together a team. I will be ready to go. I have never ridden my TT bike over 30 miles, so this will be a new experience for me, if it pans out... one that I will definitely look forward to. If American Equity fields a squad I will be very surprised if we don't win... (a little smack talk, deal with it).