01 Jun Enzo’s ABD Master’s Weekend Race Recap
ABD Master’s Weekend Race Recap
Wow, what an impressive display by the Enzo’s team this weekend, though I suspect some do not see from this perspective. The plan was to race for the best overall placing we could in the 40+ race, working for Brian Karlow in the 30+ races. Brian’s racing age is 39 so he would be fresh, only racing once per day, while the rest of us will be racing twice.
Day One 40+
Enzo is racing with Gene Tolli, Bob Karlow, Ward Zauner in a medium size field. There are a few players we need to watch, though I was sure they were thinking the same about us. The race is as expected, a few attack/counter attacks always having one guy in every move. The group was bringing Gene back and I could feel the energy subsiding slightly so I counter hard, staying solo for almost two laps. I played this correctly letting off the throttle resting while waiting to be caught. Brian Haas(Alberto’s) was the first to connect, waiting for the counter attack, 4-5-6 no attack so I counter from the front full gas. Brian Haas smartly stays on my wheel, along with Jeff Bannink and John Fleckenstien.
This the group did not expect and with the help of teammates we establish a nice gap. 2 laps later we have 25-30 seconds. 3 laps later we have 50 seconds, internal laughter because we are the race.
In Druber fashion I digress, the real humor is what is going on back in the group. Apparently my long time friend and EX team mate is very angry with my boys because they are covering all attempts to bridge, without team mates it is very difficult to fight against 3 other good racers. After his second unsuccessful attempt, he starts yelling at Bob and actually swearing out loud. This is funny because in 20 years I have never witnessed this behavior from this individual which means the boys are doing a great job. The joke is on my EX, since he tells Bob he does not know what he is doing, that I would finish last in the sprint and he is stupid for protecting a 4th place finish? Back to racing.
We are told we have over a minute as we only have 3 laps to race, and I see this coming down to a sprint. Jeff is the only wild card, since never being in a sprint with him. I skipped a few pulls earlier, ate a GU, got the split time from Brian at the Enzo’s tent and adjusted the rotation in my favor. I want Brian Haas on my wheel with Jeff in front of me. Fleck is done since he raced in the 50+ and is now quite tired. We hear the bell, 1 lap to go and while I am on the front pulling, Jeff attacks 100 meters before turn 1. I am quick on the draw increasing the speed to match him and now closing the 5 bike gap his hard effort opened. Catching him in the backstretch he sits up, I stall for 1 second and counter attack catching him asleep. Jeff is now in chase with Brian sitting on. Through turn 3 Brian attacks on the inside drilling it up the false flat, SWEET. I know have a lead out and follow him through turn 4. I wait until about 100 meters and nail it full gas taking the W by half a bike. I really enjoyed this race, many thanks to my team for all their help, I could not have done this without them. Bob, Ward, and Gene all had good finishes with Bob and Ward well in the omnium points.
Race number two is quite a different animal, with a few more players maybe 45 in the field. I recognize about 15 bike racers, which is a lot for 45 guys in the race. Eddie B always said 10% of the fields were racers, 90% were pack fillers. So if I am correct in my judgment, we have about 30% racers.
Brian is our guy and as the race starts, wow I am feeling really good, bonus. Good thing sine the racing starts quite fast with constant attacks and chasing, counter attacks and more chasing. We are flying (team Enzo’s) attacking when we feel the time is correct. The idea is to have Brian sit in while we cover moves and help the other racers soften the group. 25 minutes of this and the rain starts, not light rain but pelting rain. I am very happy having adjusted my tires pressure to 95 lbs.before the race started, good call. One would think the group would slow a little but no dice, only slight lift for the turns but full gas in all the straights. Bob rides up next to me and asks if I am having fun? We both laugh recognizing the humorous part of the sport we love, we are soaked. It is like taking a shower while racing, laughter. I keep waiting for the pace to lift, which in never does. With 4 laps to go there is one guy off and he has maybe 10 seconds and looking good, so I quickly find Brian and tell him to get on, he gives me the OK I am on as I hit the gas. This is textbook since Bob is on the front of the group and when we pass him he shuts the door to the gutter. Brian and one other are on my wheel as I deliver them to the front rider and pass him keeping the throttle down, pulling as long as I can. This launches the three clean and I sit up. When the group catches me they have about 20 seconds and the chasing frenzy is on with Bob and I staying close to the front shutting it down when we the group lifts. 2 laps to go and the break has 25 seconds awesome, that is the race. I feel they will not be caught and pleased to have our guy in to correct position for the W. The main group receives the bell as I wind up the speed with Ward and Bob on the wheel; my speedo reads 32 so I suspect not many will be advancing in these wet conditions. I pull off as we enter turn 3 and with Ward taking over the lead out. I am happy to be out of this sprint and I hope my guys are careful in turn 4, it is only a bike race. They make the correct choice slowing into turn 4, though others were putting it all on the line. We finish with 2nd, 8th and 10th, or something close to that. We are happy to have Brian high in the omnium points. Bob told me later the average speed was 27.1 mph, that is fast for old guys in wet rainy conditions.
Day Two, Crazy Storms cause Rainout
Well, anyone living in the Midwest is tired of the weather and sick of complaining about it. Mother Nature decides it is time to torture us causing a temperature shift of 30f with direct sun. I love this weather and we are all in the same boat, none of us are acclimated to the heat. We do a quick warm-up, not wanting to sweat too much, go to the line only to find the second, third, and fifth place omnium racers are not present. Wow, this takes the pressure off me only having to watch Fleck. Do not get me wrong, Fleck is a great racer but watching one guy is much easier the four.
Our plan is for me to take care of myself allowing Bob and Ward to move up in the points. As we sit on the line we are 1,3,4 in the overall with Fleck being #2. Today we have Marc Zionts, and Dave Jaggi, with Gene Tolli doing reconnaissance for an up coming race. Marc starts us off with a nice tempo pull keeping the group honest, this sets the stage as others begin to pull, nothing to fast but consistent. Second lap they announce a 25 dollar prime with a rider rolling off with 500 meters to the line. I tell Marc we want that 25 dollar bill and he starts after the other guy. I am watching wondering what he is doing? Marc’s gear selection is about 53×13 so his cadence is about 55, not exactly the way I would go about this move. Watching Marc’s plan unfold, in the final turn Marc about 5 bikes behind as we, the group, round the last corner I see Marc about 15 bikes in front of this guy easily taking the prime. This brilliant plan is unfolding, Marc is going solo keeping the throttle down creating a huge gap. The group realizes what is happening and they start chasing, this is perfect as we stay in the front disrupting the flow. It takes the group a full lap to catch and Jaggi counters with two others going with him. I am shocked there are no chasers as I sit in the front spot with Bob. Jaggi’s group has 10-12 seconds quickly and I see Fleck is in the back. I decide to drill it from the front with Recardo (WDT) on my wheel. I make it to the group and we are clear. I think to myself how is crazy easy that was, something is not correct, so I quickly tell the boys we are clear, that we need to organize. Before two laps we have 25-30 seconds? Again I am shocked, I am in the back and check the gap when I see Ward coming across. Now this is no small gap so I stay in the back in case I need to drop off and pull him up. Ward completes the bridge and I laugh outwardly, he is gasping really loud from this huge effort, slobbering all over himself. I say “nice work Ward, sit on and recover as I start back in the rotation”. The group is formed and we put over a minute on the field. They announce a 20-dollar prime and Jaggi is in the perfect position, I tell him to go and he quickly says no, I say just roll off I will allow the gap. I did not think this would really work but it did, David goes hard to the last corner gaining a 30 bike gap and holds it for the $20.00. The rotation is perfect for us, Ward is my wheel so after his pull I launch full gas with 1k to go. This is the perfect set up causing chase, allowing Ward to have a nice lead out by our competitors, laughter. With 1 turn to go I am free and can soft pedal across the line for the W with Ward winning the sprint. We finish 1-2 on the day and 1-2 in the omnium. Almost perfect.
Bob reports later that the main group was quite lethargic, with the exception of Vince Boyer (Village CycleSport) and Jeff Hansen(PYOC), with Jeff being the main aggressor.
It is really hot as we sit under the tent drinking like we had never had water before. Brian is our guy and this race has more talented riders than the last 30+ race. I suspect it will be the same pace, though with the strong wind, there will be more solid attempts trying to form a break. The race starts with a fast pace, nothing to crazy and my body settles in quickly. First move is by a few Burnham Racers, Pony Shop and maybe one other, I watch and they are gaining time, maybe 15 seconds. I go to the front setting tempo bringing this move back, no Enzo’s rider, no go diggy die. Second attempt comes in the headwind section and Bob takes care of this split. So this is how the race goes for 20 minutes until finally one of the moves looks like the correct combo gaining maybe 20 seconds and looking very organized. I slide up the unprotected side into the head/crosswind sit next to Brian and tell him to get on, which he does. I move to the right gutter exposing myself to the wind but creating a gap. Time to throttle it, we are going 29 into turn 1 gaining a nice split, which I check as we exit the S turn. Now I really wind it up and close the gap to about 8-10 seconds, and tell the boys we have a nice split and this is the race, put your heads down and get you asses up there. I sit on with them making sure this is going to happen, when I know they will make it, I drop off as to have the chasing group see me coming back. I hope this will slow them down a little, if they are looking at me they might not see how large the gap is to the others. It works as they sit on me after making the catch. Awesome, Brian is up the road with a strong group, which will not be caught.
Bob and I work the front for one lap until the boy’s are out of sight. With our job finished
we move back in the field and sit in for a few easy training miles. I find Marc and tell him we are done if he wants to go home, after all it is a holiday. We decide to drop out with 3 laps to go with the three of us watching the end of the race in the shade, cheering Brian and heckling Ward. Scott Pearson attacks the break and is now solo, Patrick Fasse (Bicycle Heaven) does the same. Two solo riders and the break playing for the overall points. Last corner and the sprint is on, Brian bests Rob Kelly (Bicycle Heaven) despite sprinting on the windward side. Brian rode well today, closing the deal and winning the omnium. We will work on the details with him one race at a time.
Being our first real racing with a full team, I am quite pleased with the results. We have room for improvement, which is exciting given our high results. I have to thank Mike Farrel and the crew at ABD, all the officials and ABR crew. Despite the crappy weather on Sunday, the event was run well, with most of the racers looking like they enjoyed themselves, I know the Enzo’s team did.
Next up, Spring Prairie Road Race, Wisconsin State Road Championship. This is a demanding circuit that I am not looking forward to. For some reason I always seem to suffer like a dog in this race. I embrace the difficult task ahead, it is good to be out of ones comfort zones. Remember ButtonHole Chamois Cream helps to find podiums.