Congratulations to Jan Palvec who ventured out for his first road race last weekend. While the rest of us were hiding indoors from the blustery winds and chilly temperatures, Jan was out on the road representing the Fiera Race Team in the “C” category of ERTC’s pre-season road race.
I had a beer with Jan last night and hung on to every word as he modestly recounted each lap of glorious glory.
Since it was his first road race ever, Jan was content to sit near the back of the peloton and study his competition, biding his time, marveling at the energy costs he experienced when he slipped out of the protection of the peloton. Soon he was certain he knew who the fastest riders in the group were, but he marveled at how relaxed the group rode, at speeds far short of what he felt he could sustain for a 50 km race.
Still, wisely, he held back, only moving to the front group in the final few kilometers. Then, finally he could contain himself no longer, and he put his legs to work driving for the finish in the final kilometer. He shattered the peloton, striking a pace that only three others could match. With all his strength he tried to pull away from his three perusers, but they clung to his rear wheel like snot to my cyclocross glove. Then, with 60 meters to go, Jan felt what countless Tour de France riders have felt in the final 60 meters of a stage, his worthy competitors launch from the shelter of his rear wheel and take for themselves, his podium.
And so, our novice hero takes 4th place in his first road race ever, setting the stage for what promises to be a very exciting season of racing for the Fiera Race Team. As a result of Jan’s efforts, one of our worthy charities will receive a donation no less than Jan’s race entry fees.