As you may recall from last years account of the Cherry Roubaix, I don't like sprint finishes in road bike races. Well this year they changed the course back and there was a "mountain top" finish. Much more my style and I was super excited, as I had been riding very well in our local group rides.
There were a couple of local guys planning on racing and my buddy Daemian and I went down the week before to ride the course. Our impression was that there were some longer climbs than we had thought and lots of options. We discussed our race strategy and then deferred to Dave Ide for wisdom. He recommended just staying with the group and then hammering on the second to last climb and trying to hang on. So that became the plan.
Daemian and I carpooled and had to leave Petoskey at 6am. So of course I was still a sleeping zombie for the drive. Despite the Hair Nation station we still weren't waking up and had to get some more coffee at the TC BK lounge, before heading up to Sugarloaf. After typical registration and such we were off to do our warm up.
Relevant Side Note: If you are a race director your #1 priority should be to have enough porta potties. Five units will not serve a field of 400+ athletes, who all have to use them at the same time. I will gladly pay an extra 2 dollars to my entry fee to have more. It's the most common gripe at any race ever, and I don't know why it continues to be an issue. For anyone that has ever been in a pre-race porta potty line this educational Slowtwitch article is required reading. Luckily I have honed my skills of finding the "hidden toilet" at races, of which there almost always is one, especially when races are held near golf courses. So we had no line for our pre-race duties. Winning.
Our 56 rider field rolled out at 9:11am. A race rundown will happen in the next post.