Monday, 7 April 2008

No Blind Squirrels Here

Another solid race for the stars and bars at Tyson’s. We had good numbers in the race, with some really solid players. A few guys are still trying real hard to get the last bit of form and a couple of us were perhaps a bit wobbly after our big day out at Walkersville, but we had a small cadre of real strong, fresh guys who were ready to light it up.

Honestly, things happened too often and too quickly for me to have any accurate idea of what all happened. I know I bridged up to Stephen Wahl at one time (that guy’s riding like an all star these days) and we gave it a go that didn’t last too long, and then I grabbed a Coppi wheel (tall guy on a Lemond – again very strong) to bridge up to our guy Greg and another, and that lasted a little while longer but not too long. I was shuttling Chris Parrish to the front going into the sharp uphill turn before the finishing stretch before the last lap and was going fast enough that making the turn was in SERIOUS jeopardy, which hopefully didn’t screw him up at all. It was a hard race and we had guys on or off the front almost the whole time.

Super scary moment was going into turn 1 for the last lap and seeing Parrish getting back onto his bike. It must have been the world’s quickest crash because, as I mentioned earlier, I’d led him through the previous turn. At the end, Newport and Parrish both got near to where they needed to be and came through for 3rd and 4th. I rolled in with the pack. Later on I found myself thinking that I could have gotten a result, but given my setup going into the last lap, I couldn’t have. Especially when guys I’ve worked to set up are in the right spot, there’s no way I’m going to do the sketchy crap that’s required to pull rabbits out of a hat.

Props to R1V for taking another race from us.

The 3/4 race is a blur. I was on the line, soaking wet and freezing, really not wanting to race. I figured I’d use it as a good “hardening up” exercise and to learn more about racing with 3’s. We’re all doing the 3/4 race at Mount Joy this coming weekend. Anyhow, I was nothing but pack fill the entire time. I’m guessing that half or fewer of the starters actually finished. It was a hard race in bad conditions, and my third race of the weekend. The whole point became toughing it out and willing myself to get through it.

The differences between the 4 race and the 3/4 race? During the 4 race, except for the times when I was attacking or bridging, I rode the home stretch in either 53/23 or 53/25 (yeah, I still haven’t taken my pie plate off after our trip to Lost River Barn), while during the 3/4 race, I went up that part in 53/21. On the back side of the course, you could move up in the 4 race by not using your brakes. During the 3/4 race, you had to pedal to move up on the backstretch.

Anyhow, this weekend went about as well for our team as we had any right to expect. Probably better. It also seems like the tide may be changing a bit in the Cat 4 races. The guys hoping to peg a free ride around the entire course and then jam themselves in there at the end were nowhere to be found at any of the Cat 4 races this weekend. Oddly enough, the 3/4 race had such an incident, resulting in a crash at the bottom of the home stretch.

Mount Joy next weekend, with a crazy strong team for the 3/4 race.

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