Uploaded on Mar 21, 2007
2005 Bethel Spring Series final race. April 17, 2005. Bethel CT.
In Sept 2000 my mom was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer. Although she underwent surgery to remove some tumors things seemed very dire - the doctor came out of surgery and told us to expect nothing. The cancer had spread everywhere.
She gamely fought for most of 3 years, undergoing chemo for much of that time. By the third year though the tumors had returned and in such a way that they were inoperable (intertwined with liver and other crucial organs).
Before she slipped away mentally she asked me if I was going to defend my gold medal in a race that was coming up soon - the Nutmeg State Games, the Connecticut sponsored criterium championships. I'd somehow won the gold medal in 2002 on very little training. With my mom sick I hadn't been training so totally didn't expect the gold. In 2003 I barely rode, getting shelled everywhere. I promised her that I'd go defend my gold medal "after" and that I'd also win the Bethel Spring Series for her, "after". "After" meant after she died.
She died August 2003.
I'm not a tall person as you can see in this clip but in Sept 2003 I weighed 215 lbs. I'd won at Bethel before but I was typically 140 lbs when I was "good". By spring 2004 I trimmed down a bunch to about 190 lbs but this was still too much weight. In 2005 I was more lean, down to about 180 lbs, maybe 175 lbs.
One guy Morgan was stronger than me but he skipped a week due to fatigue/weather and so we were even going into the last race. John was in third but he admitted to me that he wasn't 100%.
Morgan's team tried to break the field - Morgan can win from breaks or in a sprint and they knew that if they worked me over that I wouldn't be able to sprint well. Ironically he was a teammate when I won the gold medal in 2002. They had a Portuguese ex-pro and a number of very strong racers and tried really hard to blow everything apart. John's team tried to keep things together as John was a sprinter like me. My team tried to keep things together too by attacking and forcing the other teams to chase. The wild card was the local shop team, Bethel Cycle. They wanted to win the day and had a very strong core of racers - at least two of them have since won the Bethel Spring Series themselves, and one of them was a teammate also in 2002 when I won that gold medal.
So that sets up the clip.