15 May Monsters Race Report P/1/2
It’s been a long time, a really long time since I have seen the podium. I really had no thought of getting on one today either. My goal of the day was to keep the race fast and mark anything that looked dangerous. This was our first local race after doing the more “regional” Tour of C-U. The Regional races usually attract higher caliber riders. So we are back from being little fish in a big pond at the regional races.
The race started off crappy. It was raining, cold and I was not felling all that great. I do not seem to race well when the temps are below 60 degrees. That excuse works great for cross season too!
After calls up we got rolling, instantly a Sammy’s rider flies off the front. On the right side of the road there was a lot of mud I managed to stay out of it. This was not the case for all riders including Joel. He was forced into the mud on the side of the road and slide out on corner one. The next lap john got a flat. The whole time I was thinking “just stay calm”.
Two years ago I crashed twice in the same race here so I am familiar with the course. After John got a wheel and Joel got back in the race things started to heat up. Keep in mid all this happened in the first 20 minutes. After 20 minutes there were several attacks. I tired stay at the front and help covers moves. Several attacks happened but nothing really stuck until about 12 laps to go. Tim slid off the front; not really on an attack. He managed to get off solo.
I went to the front to slow things down. As I did that Liam from xXx came flying by me. He bridged to Tim and they began working together. I thought to myself, “this is perfect!” I know both of these riders and they had a real shot of staying away. After several bridge attempts that didn’t stick, they were about 10 seconds up the road and on a course like Monsters this is just far enough to dangle off the front. Eventually an attack went and I jumped on it, we eventually bridged up to Liam and Tim. We had a gap and there were three xXx riders and two Enzo’s in this move with a couple other teams represented. I think there were seven riders total. I knew Tim had to be tired so I pulled through hard a couple of times. The field was catching up but right before they caught us, Liam attacked again. Tim responded and was quickly on Liam’s wheel. There were 4 laps to go and they again had a god gap. They dangled of the front for the next three laps while we tried to slow thing down.
Our plan was to lead out Joel for the sprint. We were in perfect team position with a half a lap to go coming into turn three. By this time Tim was right in front of us and everyone knew we were going to catch him. It was lead out time! John was at the front, I was on his wheel and Joel was on my wheel. We were perfect just as I started to say to myself “this is going to work”. I hear that sound that every bike racers knows; metal on pavement. I look between my arms and I see Joel and what looked like have the field on the ground. After that my reactions kind of took over. I knew I was the only hope we had left to grab a podium spot. I had done a lot of work today not thinking I would have to sprint. I can’t tell you the last time I was willingly involved in a sprint but I felt good. I was confident going into the last corner sitting fourth wheel. Right before I started to wind up I see a SSCW rider Joe lay the hammer down on the left side. He made a great move to take the top spot on the podium as I gave it all I had to take the second spot.
I’m sure the crowd was wondering what I was doing because I stayed on the gas after the sprint to go check on my teammate. He went down pretty hard. Joel’s bike was in pieces but the important thing is he was not. I know crashing is part of bike racing but crashing in a straight and taking out the whole field for a hundred bucks is just plain stupid. Joel was a little shaken up but will be ok. Sometimes it just not worth it, some crashes are unavoidable but the crash today was just plain stupid on so many levels.
The Enzo’s team raced well and selfless as always. It so easy to sacrifice yourself when you know your teammates will do the same thing for you. Next weekend is the FRG omnium, which I am looking forward too. See everyone on Saturday!