April was a pretty big month for Kelly I. We had our wedding day on April 13th. The day was perfect, beautiful indeed, but nothing compared to how beautiful she looked in her dress. We couldn't go on a Honeymoon right away because of the Facebook Global Sales Conference a week later for her and a heavy racing schedule for me. Tour of Hermann was was the 21st and 22nd. I had close to two weeks of no riding surrounding the wedding and had no idea how my body would react going in to a 3 stage race.
Friday's TT was not that great. Since it was an omnium (placing was based off of points in each stage and not overall time) and I didn't have a TT bike there I decided just to ride it tempo and push the last 10 minutes to get in an effort that might be similar to that of the Joe Martin TT the following week. About 15 minutes in to the 14 mile TT I got some sort of long hair stuck in my eye...it was an absolutely terrible feeling. I just couldn't wait to just get the stupid thing over with in order to get the blasted hair out of my eye. It turned out to be a foot long blond hair partially caught in my sunglasses and ended up scratching my eyeball...disgusting.
Later in the day was a pretty brutal crit that my coach compares to Snake Alley. It's basically a rectangle exactly 1 mile in length. One of the long sides is a climb while the other is a quite nasty decent full of potholes. The first three laps of the crit offered up KOM points to the first four across the start finish. I figured the course suited me so I had a good chance to grab a few of them. The result of the first three laps was 2 guys tied for 1st in the KOM classification with me sitting in 3rd, 2 points behind both of them....not the best, but not bad. The break went on lap 3 of the crit, I was pretty cooked from the fast start and sprinting up the climb three times fighting for points. Joe Schmalz, Austin Vinton, and Austin Allison got away through the start finish. A small chase group containing Nick Coil went right after. Adam Mills and I figured we were sitting pretty nicely with 2 of the seven guys up the road being Mercy riders. Joe ended up winning with Vinton coming in second, Austin Allison in 3rd and Nick Coil in 4th. It wasn't a bad day for the team.
Halfway through the second lap, while sprinting for a KOM, Austin hit a pothole and went down, breaking his collar-bone pretty badly. This took away our GC hopes, leaving us with nothing to go for but the stage win. 66 miles into the race something happened to me that hasn't happened in quite some time...I completely and utterly fell apart. I think it was from all the time off I had taken and just jumping straight into a brutal road race, let alone stage race. I couldn't hang on the attacks up the climbs, missed the winning split, and counted down every tenth of a mile on my garmin for the last 24 miles....it absolutely sucked. I was hanging on the back of a group of about 10 riders for the last hour. My average power was only 130 watts for that hour, I physically could not even rotate through. To give you an idea of how much that sucked, the average power for a nice endurance ride hovers a little over 200 watts. I seriously thought about throwing my bike in the ditch and hitchhiking back into town. It made me feel a little better with with the Masters National TT champion, Jonathon Jacobs, looking to be in about the same situation I was in. I finally finished coming somewhere around 17th, hating life and ending up 3rd in the KOM classification.
This made me have some serious doubts about the upcoming weekend.