The LaCrosse Omnium consists of a 2.4 mile uphill time trial on Friday, a road race on Saturday with lung burning climbs a few miles across the Mississippi River in Minnesota, and a criterium in downtown LaCrosse on Sunday to wrap up the weekend. Congrats to Team members Ross and Robert who both started the weekend with podium finishes after the first stage of racing.
Category 4 men
After taking last year off of road racing, I was extremely excited to head to La Crosse for a weekend of racing (just Friday and Saturday, I skipped the crit on Sunday). The Friday night time trial is one of my favorite events, a 550 foot climb over 2.4 miles. I had done this 2 years ago so I knew what to expect, a lot of pain and suffering. Riders are sent off every 30 seconds and after passing the two riders who started ahead of me within the first 3 minutes, I knew I had gone out a little too hard. The Stages power meter on my new Giant TCR SL2 definitely helped me pace myself for the remainder of the climb. I was able to post a time of 8:38 which was good enough for the first place in Category 4! I was very happy about this after missing the podium two years ago by only 3 seconds.
The next morning was the road race, which for Cat 4 was 3, 13.6 mile laps. This course has rolling hills, a very fast decent (almost hit 50 mph) and a pretty good sized climb. The race started with about 40 riders and unfortunately I lined up near the back. I was able to make my way to the front by the end of the large climb and stayed there until the break formed on the next lap. The break had about 10 riders and I was at the back of it. Which ended up being the worst place for me to be as we went around the corner into a section of road with a nasty crosswind. I was blown off the back and then rode solo for a few miles (trying to convince myself not to quit) before being caught by 4 riders trying to bridge. The five of us managed to catch the break right before the final turn into the finish. By this time my legs were fried and when I got out of the saddle to sprint I had nothing left. I ended up finishing 14th and picked up a few more points and ended up taking 6th overall in the Omnium. The La Crosse Omnium is a great event and I highly recommend it.