24 Apr Menomonee Park
After a full 2011 road season and the longest CX season ever, I am feeling like my batteries are fully recharged. My body is not yelling at me any longer to relax, and the brain is actually happy that I have started working my top end in training. That being said, a few of the boys wanted to test the racing water’s to see where they are in their training, so who am I to say no. I am just as curious to find out where I am in relation to the other racers in the area. This is always a fun time of the season because no one is really sharp, unless a rouge pro shows up, so we will all be going into the red numerous times. Early season is for suffering, correct? Who comes home after a race in July and passes out on the couch, waking up with drool pouring out of their mouth’s? No one, this only happens in the early season, laughing.
So the players for the Enzo’s masters squad will be, Gene Tolli, Ward Zauner, Bob Karlow, and myself. In our pre-race meeting we talk nothing about racing. This seems funny since we know each other well enough, as racers, their is nothing to say. We all know the players, and we are here to gain a little race fitness, so the meeting is more about what we were doing before we drove to the venue. For me it was watching my daughter Rachel win the 5k running race she entered. I love when a girl beats the entire field, by dropping the 30+ guy in the last 400m! So we all laughed about this, how it feels being bested my a 17 year old girl who weighs in at 103, I can not help laughing about this.
Anyway, we roll around the course, which is really sweet pave’, and roll up to the line in the middle of the announcements. This is a flat crit, by Wisconsin standards, though most from Illinois would say there are two hills per lap. We later joke about the difference in perception between these racers. Geographic’s being quite relative on how rider looks at an elevation change, what constitutes a hill or a climb.
The whistle blows and we start rolling with the other 50 or so racers. I am sitting on Bob’s wheel and he starts rolling up the left side, clearly he wants to go to the front of the race, and 30 seconds we are in the top 10 guys, nice. There are a number of LAPT, and IS Corp boys and a few other teams represented and the attacks begin on the second lap. This is an hour race so we watch the first few go knowing they will not stick. Then we begin to play as well with everyone gong up the road for a taste. This goes on for about 40 minutes and finally the energy of the group is changing, only slightly. Enough that when a Midwest trek rider rolls off the front, I decide to follow the wheel and we gain a small gap. Next thing I hear is one of the big John’s from LAPT say we have a gap go, go, go. I do not get sucked into this taking a look first. Confirmed, we have 3 seconds so I begin to ramp up the speed a little faster. Now we are gaining time but going to the back I see we have 10 guys!!! Given the wind today this should be good, the rub is it is nearly impossible getting this many to work during the season, let alone an early training race. Sure enough 6 guys are taking pulls, 4 are sitting on. After a few rotations I go to the back and say we need everyone to help, just pull when you can being yelled at by some big guy who maybe pulled through once.
We finally get organized, with much help from all our team mates shutting the chasing field down. The last lap was good, though I was somewhat brain dead and clearly not in full race array. The IS Corp guy attacks and gets clear, and I end up third out of the last corner, being passed 10 meters from the line by two, for 5th. Not much of a sprint yet for the old guy. Bob gets a nice lead out from Ward and easily wins the field sprint, no contest.
We are all pleased with the race since everyone was up the road multiple times until one of the moves stuck. I really wanted Bob up the road since he is a few weeks ahead of me in training, having some kind of sprint. The team looks like we are on schedule to be sharp by ToAD.
Ward is leaving while the rest of us stay to do the 1-2-3 race. This is a 75 minute event using it as a motor pace session. This was really fun, the pace was faster that the old man race, and we all felt quite good. There is not much to talk about since we did not care about racing, training only. It was a great day for the Enzo’s team, everyone had fun, what more can you ask.
I do want to thank Aaron Busche. Aaron raced in the 1-2-3’s and his pedal stroke looked silky smooth all day. It is good to have him back in the local races, after taking a little time off. Aaron knows why Enzo is thanking him.
Well I better get back to filling orders. We want to keep all the ButtonHole users happy out there, remember before you ride, get your ButtonHole on!
Next up is Whitnall Park, one of my favorite WCA training races. Hope to see you there.