03 Aug St. Charles Crit 35+
The Enzo’s crew was excited to be racing again, knowing the field would have more that 15 racers. Sitting on the start line listening to the race announcements, the field consisted of about 40 racers, many of them Cat 1’s and 2’s. Always enjoying hard races, today looked like it was going to be a throw down which had me fired up and nervous at the same time. My nervousness comes from not having the best fitness, since my training has been hampered because of the Grafton crash. A friend of mine says, one injury creates another, this is correct. Having the rib injury in my back has halted my ability to do core work and stretching, which sucks. I knew it was only a matter of time until this would start to bite me in the ass, hard. Well I was wrong, it bit me in the knee first. With my quad muscles not being stretched I developed patella tendon pain after a long training ride two weeks ago. The up side, I finally was able to start doing the required maintenance that keep this old body in good form Tuesday.
Lucky the Enzo’s squad has 6 guys today, which will take some of the work load off the old guy. We had everyone with the exception of Brian Karlow and John Whipple. At the start of the race Jaggi goes to the front and throws the first punch of the match, one lap at full gas. This was a rude awaking for me not having a great warm up. Next it was Paul Swinand who nails a hot lap, then Bob Karlow attacks, with the race going like this for about 20 minutes, with many people attacking hard. I am not sure of the time that had passed since the start finish clock was blank, which is weird.
So the race continues to be very aggressive and finally Andrew Rizzo breaks free and is solo, gaining a nice gap maybe 25 seconds, though still in sight. I know that Andrew could hold this pace for 30 minutes which I recognize as a problem. Going to the front and setting tempo as to close this gap. I do not want to bring it back just close it enough for someone to bridge, hopefully an Enzo rider or two. We make a good go of it but are not able to connect to Andrew. Now Moroso man(Scarlet Fire Racing) takes a flyer and there is now way I can allow this to happen. Chris is a serious threat, if he connects with Andrew,they will be gone and the race will be over. I watch for a lap since his pedal stroke is not looking great, you see when racing with people many times, you can read their pedal stroke and tell if they are having a good day based on this feedback. Today is not a great day for Chris and I set the tempo that brings him back. This two laps worth of work by Scarlet Fire and Enzo brings us close to Andrew. When we finish it off Paul Swinand counters his team mate, which is text book bike racing. I am not thrilled that there was no Enzo with him, this was a mistake on our part. I say to Ward we need to bring this back and he sets a great tempo bringing the group close enough that the group finishes it off. We have about 4 laps to go and I have been hiding for a few laps as to rest for the final.
Ward goes to the front with 3 laps to go and sets a great tempo for almost 2 laps. I move to the front as we get the bell and lay down a hard 1/2 a lap then pull off after turn three. Heagney was on my wheel and now he will be stuck in the front with 1k to go, not good for him. All of the sudden a surge goes on the right side of the road, it is my team mate leading the charge, this was another mistake. He has brought 5-6 guys to the front of the race, guys I just forced to stay in the middle with the high tempo. Our two sprinters now have to fight for a good position with not much race track to do so. Heagney and Todd Hancock go from being in a poor position, 1st, and 2nd, to being able to pick the wheel of their choice finding a lead out. Bob is 5th going into the last turn and finds a way to advance to third.
In the end we finish 3rd, Bob Karlow with a great sprint, Gene Tolli 7th, Dave Jaggi 10th. I am pleased with the result though we still have much to learn when it comes to finishing the bike race without making errors. I am not a tough person to work for or race with, we either win, or we need to try harder, seems simple to me. Racing and winning as a team is not as easy as it seems.
Next up is Elk Grove TT, and Crit race. Thanks to Lucky Break and Giant Bikes for the help this season, Psimet Custom Wheels for the fast, light carbon race wheels. A.L.L. Masonry for the support as well.
Come out and see the great racing in Elk Grove. Enzo is helping the Women’s Colombian National team this weekend. They are racing the Pro, 1,2 and I am sure they will make some noise. Team Tibco and Primal Map My Ride are going to be here racing. Enzo is also a supporter of these power house teams.
See everyone this afternoon for the TT.