By: Christian Helmig
Or down and up, depending how you look at it. I’m sitting in the van right now driving back from the Joe Martin Stage Race with the team. What a weekend! It is still sinking in but we achieved one of out major goals for the season, a win at a NRC race. It wasn’t me that was standing on the top step of the podium but I feel just as proud as if I had.
For me personally it was a little bit of a roller coaster ride, physically and emotionally. My time trail was pretty decent on Thursday but I had a pretty rough day on the first long road race on Friday. First I hit the deck early on in the stage and then struggled to get over the day’s climb with the main group. Towards the end I started cramping and on top of everything else got caught behind a pretty big crash with less than 10 km to go. Thanks to Aaron and Johnny in the car I was able to make it back to the pack with less than 3 km to go only to get dropped again in the last km. After the stage I was completely cooked, both mentally and physically. It was bad enough that I had lost some time in GC but what was even worse was the fact that I wasn’t able to help the guys at the end. The others rode great but I can’t help but think we could have pulled off a great result on that stage if we had had a little more horse power at the end to keep Joe and Eric up there…
Fortunately our luck turned on Saturday. I felt pretty tired from the day before but I usually get better the longer the race goes on. We had a good race as a team and were able to avoid the chaos that always reigns at the run in to the finish. We had everyone lined up with about 1.5 km to go when the Bissel team in front of us touched wheels and went down. We were barely able to avoid it but all of us made it through and we were able to deliver Joe and Eric to the line in good position – and Eric pulled it off and won the first NRC race for ELBOWZ Racing while Joe still managed to hang on for third! All of us crossed the line with out hands in the air celebrating the victory with Eric. What a different feeling that was compared to the day before! But that’s just the way it is, there are good days and there are bad days. Thing is, if you have such a great group of guys around you, bad days don’t seem quite as bad and good days turn into great days. It was really special to be a part of the team this weekend and even though I am dead tired right now I’m already looking forward to the next race.