Friday, March 30, 2007

Thursday Night Crit Race Report: 3/28/97

First off, it was drizzly and overcast with a 8 to 10 mph wind from the SE creating a head and tail wind depending on where you were in the course. There was about 12 to 15 racing in a combined field of Cat 5's and 35+ 4/5's. There were also 2 women, Pamela Leblanc included in the race.

Pamela will be writing about her exploits soon I guess. (To end the suspense she got lapped several times during the race). The other woman was named Betty and she rode for Austin Flyers. I don't know what it says about me, but I was looking at her as a potential competitor--maybe it was the skinsuit.

She got dropped in the 2nd lap.

The Cat 5's consisted mainly of a bunch of UT Cycling guys. The 35+ 4/5's were myself the incomprable Daniel Norton of Velocity, Inc. and a smattering of unattached folks. The first lap started off pretty liesurely. A guy from UT Cycling went off the front-ish which means he was cruising off the front adn there wasn't much interest in him. On the 2nd lap I believe he got a flat. On the third or 4th lap in the turn going into the finishing straight, I came up the middle with an attack and got a small gap on the bunch. I glanced back and there was a rider from UT named Tony who was in last week's race. "Let's go!" I shouted to him and unlike any other time I was in a break of any kind, he glanced back and went for it.

Tony and I took turns off the front several laps creating a sizable gap with the main field and lapping Pamela LeBlanc a few times as well.
The only threat was a Cat 5 guy who caught on wiht 6 laps to go. Before he caught on, Tony noticed him and mentioned that the other rider "seemed to be taking it easy." I figured I had 35+ 4/5 in the bag, so I said, "He's first to your second unless we stay away." When we came to the finishing straight, the other rider called out "I'm on!" at which point Tony stepped on the gas and we dropped him.

Tony and stayed together until there were 2 laps to go wherein he really threw down and I had couldn't hang on. He was about 50 yards up the way the whole way. He soloed to a Cat 5 and overall victory and I sewed up 35+ 4/5.

There were puddles on the course during the race and Kenny Hill the title sponsor of the race was so kind to be sweeping them off the course during the race.

The crit was loads of fun and a real confidence builder. Afterwards when Daniel and I were watching the Cat 1,2's, I wondered aloud how Gerry King would fair in the 35+ 4/5's given his Cipollini-esque sprint.

Perhaps I'll find out some day.....

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pain a Plenty or Hurting in Fayetteville

This was my first attempt at Fayetteville. Last year's attempt was averted by
my brother's nuptials at which I was best man.

This race is a fast race. This race is a hard race. The other thing I'm
pondering is that last year as a Cat 5, I got to ponder the depths of
humiliation in my first few races and to really think I'm old and talentless.
Then like I pheonix I got some pretty good results and realized that I'm just
an average roadie with a ways to go.

Funny how things don't change because this year is starting out the same way, and
I would think that I would have the wisdom to know the difference.

Saturday night after the first RR in which I came in near the bottom, I
thought a lot about being 40 years old and getting dropped by the pack in the
first lap. I enjoyed the TT and did halfway decent getting 24th.

SUnday's RR was about survival, and I hung with the pack in the first lap and
fell off. Falling off meant falling off with the really strong headwind that
would have killed me if it weren't for the chase group I ended up with. I
finished a tad better in that race and since so many people bagged it, I
ended up being someting like 30th on GC. I cramped like you wouldn't believe
in the second RR. The biggest lesson in the second RR was perseverence. I
thought several times about cashing in my chips, and collecting a DNF. The
funny thing is a lot of people did and as a result of "hanging on" I got a
sort of good result.

The best thing about getting my ass handed to me at this race was the company
I kept. It was sooo great having lunch with the Velocity crew Daniel, Frank, and Tom after the first stage and then dinner after the TT. The comradarie really made this

Additionally, I was working hard to recruite Ritchie Howell who is 38 and who finished in the top 20 GC. Ritchie says he's on for Hammerfest as am I and some other Velocity folks.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bring the Pain

The racing season has started and Velocity's members have been representing at Walburg and Lago Vista. Since most of us are neophytes, we're still learning the ropes and feeling the price of admission for racing USCF races in central Texas: humiliation.

We've not done too well so far, and we're showing up.

The next big thing for the club is that a group of us will be racing in the 35+ Cat 4/5's at the Fayetteville Stage Race.

Stay tuned for future reports!