The Estancia Omnium

Masters 45+ Road Race on the Way Out of Town

For weeks a hot discussion topic on The New Mexico cycling forums was the impending "Northern Invasion" from Colorado that was about to descend upon the little town of Estancia. Indeed, there were more than than just a few of us who decided to make the trip for two late March road races in central New Mexico. I'll let the results speak for themselves.

Saturday, March 25th saw a race that headed through town and south for a 55 mile loop. It was a little chilly at the 9:00 start time and I did not regret wearing a long-sleeved jersey, even as it warmed up during the race. The increase in temperature was more than offset by increasing wind velocity. Our group stayed together for much of the race, but the stronger riders eventually prevailed and the pack split in two. That's kind of how we finished. The next day started out with a very strong cross wind from the northwest as we headed southwest for an out and back 50 mile race. I was thinking that this was like doing Hugo and Deer Trail on two consecutive days. Great training for this early in the season. Again, the pack broke apart. I stayed with the second group for a while and on one long pull turned around to see if I could get some relief. No one was there. I then looked forward to see several riders that I would eventually overtake. I made sure that I sprinted around those guys who had participated in the early attacks. I finally came up on a guy who was in recovery mode as well and we rode the rest of the race together. We appeared to be gaining and as we made a turn to the east, we decided it was now or never and gave it all we had and with the aid of a strong tail wind started to make substantial progress. I figured we had about 8 miles to make up about 1/4 mile and was looking forward to to sitting in on the return to the start finish going into the wind. No such luck. The race was shortened, probably due to unsafe conditions caused by the strong wind. The turn around came up after just a couple of miles and we spent the rest of the race sharing the work while looking at the back of the main group that kept getting bigger as they picked up solo riders from other categories. Going into the wind, they got stronger while we got weaker. In spite of that we never lost sight of them and both of us finished pretty well. On the way back to town and with a 40 mph cross wind, my new friend and I were getting acquainted and discussing the race when a strong wind gust pushed me off the road. The bike went out from under me. I went down and the chip seal took care of the rest. New handle bar tape was torn along with my new long sleeved jersey, gloves and me. At the high school back in town I spent several minutes cleaning up and and stopping the blood loss. Just didn't want to further mess up the upholstery in my old car. After a great lunch in Moriarty, I felt much better and headed east on 40 then north to Denver on the scenic road I came in on. KHS, a New Mexico club with emphasis on junior riders had put on a really good race and I had my one allotted crash of the 2006 season behind me. The following pictures are three of several I took on the way to I-25 from Moriarty.

The Pecos River

Next: Tour of the Gila in Silver City, New Mexico. Or...
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This site written by and photographs taken by: Gregory Jones Albrecht
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