I've done two stage races now, within those stage races I was in 2 road races. Basically I have limited experience racing.
But one thing I have noticed really bugs me. I have been watching all the pro races that have been aired on TV this year. When i see them I see guys who are RACING. There are attacks, breakaways, and suffering....FOR THE WHOLE RACE! But in my lil cat5 races, the consensus among the riders has seemed to be "take it easy guys, we have a long ways to go". Now c'mon, are we here to race or hold hands and sing songs? Today in my race I found myself out front with a bit of a gap after taking a pull on a moderate incline, hoping to pick the pace up. I guess to everyone else it was too much work that early into the race, although we had been going for 18 miles in only a 60 mile race. Well, I had two options. Let the lil effort I had put in go to waste and fall back in with the sissies behind me or to just keep on going with 35 miles of headwinds in front of me to tackle by my lonesome.
Pride took the best of me, especially because there already was a mutual agreement to STOP (if we were all together) at the feedzone to get water...not this time, I had no one to hand me bottles and was carrying four on me, everyone else could kiss my butt. Let them stop if they want, but I was out on the front, no wankering out in this race. So I made my break, basically sacrificing my chances to win the whole stage race which i could've done if I was conservative about it. Long story short I stuck the break for about 20 miles and got caught. I held on with the lead group over the major climb and to the sprint at the end taking 5th still, even after dropping my chain 3 times throughout the race.
Basically what I'm getting at is...where is the competitive spirit? Yeah, I didn't make it to the end on my lil solo break, but why weren't there any other riders willing to get their heart rates up before 1 km to go? Watching Paris Roubaix, the 3 breakaway riders knowing that it was coming down to just them, kept the pace high the whole time. The guys I have raced with slow down towards the end. WE WERE GOING 11MPH at one point on relativley flat ground in the last 5miles of the race! As i watch the Pro races, I'm envious. I want to race with people willing to take chances, to work hard the whole time. If I had just one person who decided to come with me, I know we would've held off the pack for the 35 miles, but they were all scared to give an effort till the last second. WHERE ARE YOUR BALLS PEOPLE?!?