19 Jun Tour of America’s Dairyland Thiensville (2011)
Stage one of ToAD is in the books with a new course in Thiensville. I heard different opinions/mixed feelings about this course from the group of master’s 35+ racers. I thought this was a better course than last year having 2 more turns per lap. The pave’ was smooth, the turns were fine, with a few manhole covers that were rough. I think this hurts the guys that are stressed about racing with large groups, not remembering where these stationary bumps live.
I am rolling through the parking lot and spot a few Z-Motion jersey’s. Knowing a bunch of these racers from south Florida I stop and say hello. To my surprise, it is Pablo, who is the owner of Florida Velo, a huge racing team/club in the Tampa area though he is wearing a Z-Motion kit. We talk for a minute as Pablo says they have combined forces for the ToAD. I introduce myself to the tall racer next to their van and this guy say his name is Andy Mapple with an British tone. My old brain is now twitching because I know this guy is famous but his name is not clicking since we are at a bike race. Then it hits me and I ask Andy if he knows how to water ski? He laughs and replies “I do”. Holy Shit, this is the Andy Mapple, the world record holder, off and on for many years in slalom skiing. I am going off my memory, I recall he did 2 balls at 41.5 off, or something crazy like that like. Anyone that know what this means understands my excitement. So I tell him I am a fan as he tells me how he really loves racing his bike, a somewhat new game for him.
So the Z- Motion boys have about 12 guys in our race, Enzo’s has Wayne, Bob and Brian, ISCorp has 3 main players, and the field looks like 75 racers, not bad for day one. I am row 4 and not to concerned as the whistle blows we are off as I see Chris Halverson moving up. I follow his wheel and by lap two I am 3rd wheel at the front of the race sweet. I will sit here for as many laps as I can before the fireworks start. It does not take long as the attacks begin about the 4th lap. Somewhere about lap 10 they call a $50:00 prime and two guys go for it before turn one. I watch and one of the guys is dropped before turn 2 as I decide the to try for the cash. I bridge with a large effort as I exit turn 5 and sit on the wheel until 100m taking the prime. I have now added something to the pot and will focus on racing my bike. The guy that started this attack asks if I want to keep going so I pull through fairly hard, having about a 10 second gap. We stay away for the lap and are caught at the start/finish line when a counter attack goes. I see Bob is in this move which is looking good. Another lap and the group of 8 has 12- 15 seconds when Grant Potter(Z-Motions #1 guy) attacks trying to bridge. I decide not to go with this since many in this race do not know who Grant is but they do know me, which could jeopardize Bob’s position. Grant connects 1 lap later which I am not to happy about, since he can give Bob a real run for the win. I am pleased with the break because Bob has a real chance to find the W.
This break rides out of sight and that is the bike race, as we lock down the field. Z-Motion is the only team with two in the break and they work it like pro’s. The winner of the race attacks before the s-turn with Potter on the front, he stalls through the turns and his team mate gains a 20 bike gap. Now the question is who is going to close this gap? Chris Halverson takes charge and Bob follows his wheel. at 170m Bob starts the sprint first almost catching the winner, about a wheel short, but Potter nips Bob in a bike throw. Z-Motion goes 1-2 with Enzo’s filling the podium in 3rd.
This was a really fun race making my excitement level high for today’s racing in Grafton.
Safe riding everyone, I will try to stay current with the race reports.