19 Aug Elk Grove Day 2, Masters 1/2
Sunday, the final day of Elk Grove is the master’s 1-2 crit, which is 45 minutes short. What I mean by 45 minutes is we will need to go hard from the gun. Creating fatigue to race fit legs in 45 minutes can be difficult at this time of the season. Enzo will have Marc,Gene, Bob, and Ward racing today, which should help though the forecast is for an intense storm hitting Elk Grove about race time. For once the forecaster’s are spot on, causing a delay of 1 hour, the lightning passes and the course is cleaned up we stage and are told our race will be cut short to 40 minutes.
On the line it looks like we have about 40- 50 racers with wet conditions, laughter. I have tested the course doing 2 laps and have adjusted my PSIMET Team Issue tire pressure perfectly, about 78 lbs. We have the pleasure of Jonas Carney (Director of Kelley Benefit Strategies) racing with us today, laughter. This is funny because Jonas, most likely, has never been in a master’s race. For those that do not know this name, he is a former US Pro Crit Champion, one of the best road sprinters in the US owning countless wins. He has not sat on a start line since he retired 6.5 years ago, so I suspect he is not going to like the really slow into the wet corners and hard jumps out, as these efforts require race fitness. We also have Robbie Ventura (Vision Quest) racing today here to help team mate Mike Heagney, who does not really need the help with the season he has been having.
The whistle sounds with Billy Jones(IS Corp) going to the front and nailing the throttle, perfect. This pace lasts for 3 laps shelling a few riders quickly. The Enzo’s boys are following wheels while feeling things out, since others are keeping the pace high, we do not have to, bonus. Then the first cash prime of $50.00 is offered with Billy Jones taking this. Heagney follows the wheel and they gain a small split though it does not go anywhere, as the pace remains high. I am excited, feeling good as my tires are sticking to the wet pave’ like it is dry.
Second prime $50.00 bucks, so I jump in the back straight gaining a nice gap, about 10 seconds, holding split for the cash. I decide to keep the gas on and make the group chase, which they do, though no counter attack from my team mates, I am not thrilled about this, but do not say anything. The same thing happens for the next prime, this time I sit up after the reward, feeling the 1-2 crit in my legs from yesterday.
Last prime with 3 laps to go, this time $100.00, I snake through the pack in the back straight, making another attempt. This time (Vince Boyer, Village Cyclesport) follows my wheel, and we are clear. I decide to not worry about this flying through turns 4 and 5 giving a full sprint effort out of corner 5. Vince is on my wheel until 300 meters and I am free for the Hundo. Good thing because I am feeling like my legs are empty. I sit in until the bell lap and move to the front, seeing Robbie will be second wheel, perfect. I finally have Heagney in a bad position, with Bob in position A, about 5th wheel. Carefully going around the 180, I lay it down, making it difficult for people to advance or change positions. I pull off as we enter turn 5, leaving Robbie with about 1k leadout, good luck. This works perfectly, Heagney is left out too early for the sprint, well maybe not, we will get back to this.
I look to get back in the pack after the lead-out trying to finish in the money. Mike Zellman (ScarletFire Racing) calls inside in the apex of turn 6 overcooking the corner, sending me into the gutter. I scrap my pedal hard on the curb, laughing about his lack of cornering skills. No harm, though Nate Iden ( Burnham Racing) makes comment, “holy shit dude, I thought you were going down”. I jump on Nate’s wheel because a split has taken place, that is 10 guys in front of me and I hang on for 11th place.
Back to the front of the race. It turns out, Robbie dies, who knew, with Heagney stalling, being too far from the line to sprint. This allows Nate Iden and Keith McMahon(Pony Shop) to sling shot into the front with momentum. Heagney gets on this train, while Bob Karlow and Billy Jones are banging bars for position. Billy and Bob both lose out, finishing 4th and 5th, while Heagney takes the W in the last 10 meters. Nate 2nd and Keith 3rd, nice finish boys.
This was a good race for us, having 4 of the 5 in the money, plus $200.00 in primes. I am happy none of us crashed given the wet conditions, especially Bob and Billy in the sprint.
Next up, ABD Winfield weekend.