Bart Lipinski - Masters 40+</i></b></span></div>

</span></div>
Ok….here it goes. A quick report on this past weekend’s Killington Stage Race. In as few words as possible.</span></div>

</span></div>
Friday (day before stage 1)</i></b> – Spent way too much time checking the hourly weather reports, but in a weird kind of way was excited about racing Stage 1 with weather in the low 40’s, high winds and rain in the forecast. Not sure why….but I was.</span></div>

</span></div>
Saturday, Stage 1 Circuit Race, 51 miles – 40+’s were scheduled to start at 9:30, but had already changed my mind about racing in today’s weather. Everyone was pretty much soaked as we rolled out to the neutral start. Right off the start, two guys went, but were eventually caught about 20 miles in. At that point I think it’s pretty much safe to say that the entire field wanted this to be over. A safe and cautious ride to the finish.</span></div>

</span></div>
Luckily for me, I had wrapped my cleats in plastic bags and tapped the hell out of them. Then put shoe covers on over them to hide them. They worked great for the first two laps. On the decent of the last lap, feet were wet and I got that “death chill” that you can’t get rid of. By the end of the race, hands and fingers didn’t work. Finished 17th</sup>, but had the same time as most of the favorites. Plenty of time to make it up in the next two days.</span></div>

</span></div>
It took about 15 minutes of sitting in the car with the heat on before I was able to unclick my helmet. Oh yea…..thanks to hypothermia, I could not stop my boy from shaking. Food, drinks and about a half hour helped fix that. Back to the condo to eat and recover.</span></div>

</span></div>
Sunday, Stage 2 Road Race, 62 miles</i></b> – Since we could see the finish line from our window, today’s warm-up was making the 1,500’ decent down East Mountain Road. The forecast for today was looking really good. No rain (haha), but very cold. Only in the upper 40’s-low 50’d for the day. Nothing like racing in the end of May in my winter clothes.</span></div>

</span></div>
As we rolled up to the start line….rain….again. Was nothing like Saturday, but WTF? We only were about 3 to 4 miles in when two went off the front (and not to be seen again). The race leader had guys trying to real them back in, so we just sat in and let them do all the work (although once again, I did way too much work…haha…surprise). There was a small break (2 guys) at about mile 40. That’s the one I wish I acted on. These 2 finished 2nd</sup>and 3rd</sup> on the stage. But I was worried about having enough left in the tank to get back up the mountain.</span></div>

</span></div>
We got through the first 56 miles in just over two and a half hours. The last five were straight up. 1,500’ that would take almost 25 minutes to get to the top. Luckily I found my rhythm, and got to the top just about as fast as I was hoping to. Shaved over 3 minutes off my best time and crossed the line 11th</sup>, 2 minutes back from the guys I should have chased. But was very happy that I moved to 11th</sup>overall in the GC and that Stage 2 was in the books.</span></div>

</span></div>
Monday, Stage 3 Time Trial, 11 miles</i></b> – Finally some sun and bright blue skies. Today’s only issue was the wind. 15 mile an hour winds from the North West. Of course that was the direction we were heading. The finish line was also up about 500’ over the start line. So, a steady 11 mile TT climb, with a head wind. </span></div>

</span></div>
Today’s plan was simple enough….Make the Podium. This was my chance to really move up in the GC. But right after I left the start, I realized the head wind was not just a head wind. In the valley (Rt. 4/100) it was swirling. Sometimes from the front, or the right. But it would immediately switch to the left or maybe a quick push from behind. With a 80mm front wheel (only mistake I made today), I think I spent more energy trying to hold the bike straight and upright than what was going into the pedals.</span></div>

</span></div>
The 11 miles went by quickly and before I knew it, I was sprinting with whatever I had left. I was done, it was over. And when the stage and overall GC results went up I could not believe my efforts took me to 2nd</sup> for the stage and moved me from 11th</sup>to 6th</sup> overall in the GC.</span></div>

</span></div>
All in all, it was a great weekend to race. Ever with the shitty weather. It was great to stay with Ari for 4 days and to see and hang out with a few other friends….off the bike for once. Next year I’ll be on the final podium….I promise.</span></div>