Somerville Race Report - Mark Nielson

After a few weekends of longer road races, races in which I have been struggling in due to climbs that come at the worst possible time in the race for me. I set off to Somerville N.J. on a mission for a good result. I got to the race two hours early, ready to get registered and watch a few races then slowly prep for my short Cat 2 race. I am standing in the registration line and look in my wallet to find my little red license is not in its usual spot. I had forgot I gave Mike my license for the Hills of Somerset RR.. I go up to the lady and ask them what I can do to get into the race; basically the lady replied and told me to grovel to the official. I go and find the official ad tell her that I have a year old license but I don’t have my most recent one. She rudely said “too bad”. By this time I have about a hour before my race and I am pretty pissed cause I knew I could do well today, I could feel it in the legs. I go back to registration and ask if there was a cyber café anywhere around, of course none were open on Memorial Day. One of the head volunteers overhears me asking and by this time I am desperate. He says that he can help. He walks me over to a friend’s house on the course and asks him if I could use the internet; he was extremely friendly and said sure, do whatever you need to do to get into the race. I hurry in print off my license and run back to registration. I have 30 minutes by the time I get my number and sprint back to my car.

I get dressed and am ready to race, head over to the start line and pretty much arrive just in time. The race starts and it’s fast but manageable. An early break gets away at lap 13 of 16. The break stays away until 2 laps to go. We head into turn one on the last lap and everyone wants to be in the top ten. Everything is still pretty sane. I am sitting in about 12th place coming into the final two turns. I am o the outside and the guy inside of me comes wide almost knocking me into the curb, I manage to stay upright and am trying to get on this big sprinters wheel, but none the less I got blocked in-between some fading riders. I manage to break into the top ten at ninth position. I was a bit angry cause the guy that got third was the wheel I wanted, but ya know sometimes you win sometimes you place ninth. It’s a nice stepping stone and hopefully it is a sign of good things to come.

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Mark Nielson