It was a bizarre scene as I approached the finish line of the Hollenbecks Spring Classic in upstate NY. I was alone, and there were a lot of spectators at the top of the final climb, many of them clapping and shouting words of encouragement to me. I heard things like, “You’re almost there!”, and, “Keep going!” But it was the tone of their voices that threw me. It was like they pitied me.
When I finally did cross the line, there wasn’t much fanfare. In fact, there wasn’t much of a response from anyone except my dad. He EXPLODED and said that I was the sickest rider he knew. That made me proud.
About three minutes later, the peloton came into view, and the crowd went CRAZY as they witnessed an epic sprint for the line – for second place. Apparently, my dad, some members of my family, and a few race officials were the only ones that knew that, just a few minutes prior, I had won the race.