10 May Urbana Grand Prix 30+ Race Report
Day two Urbana, this course is a different animal having 8 turns, a slight elevation change, and some rough pave’. What I call a real crit course because bike handling is a requirement. If you can not handle your bike holding speed through rough corners, you will not win this race. Ward will be racing with us today, so the extra guy gives us 5. This is our race to loose being the only team with more that 2 racers.
The race starts slow, about 10 minutes in Gene goes for a prime and takes the money. This was go time as many attacks are thrown at the field. The action is frothy for the next twenty minutes and I notice a shadow following my wheel. Correct, every time I attack there is one guy that welds the gap quickly. I notice this after the second attack and decide to keep doing these fake efforts just to mess with him. Bob counters one of these and has a nice break formed with three others. I like our chances but the shadow, who is in the move does not do any work, and Bob decides to do the same, they are brought back. Negative racing 101, I am sure the four of them could have been gone because the Enzo’s crew were controlling the field well. I am not sure what the idea was to not contribute, but at the end of the day it back fired.
I countered hard but felt hollow from yesterday and was brought back in a lap. Now for the back fire part of the story! Jacob Rytlewski, a first year amateur, that is correct ,it is his first year since 2006 not having a PRO license, who’s racing age is 30. Most likely is 29 or just 30, with his Kenda contract not getting renewed for the 2012 season. Jacob was on fresh legs not racing the day before and the problem for us was none of the Enzo’s guys knew the bio on this guy. After I was brought back, just like one would expect, the fresh legged fast MF’er attacks gaining 20 seconds in 1 lap. I watch and think, that skinny little guy right, he is not going to hold us off for 25 minutes. After 2 laps the split is 28 seconds, now I am thinking who is this guy, we may have screwed the pooch. I go to the front and set a steady TT tempo for two laps, then Whipple does three laps a little faster. I ask Nick for a split and laughingly says 45 seconds, WHAT? 5 laps at that pace and he put time into us, race is over! I am not thrilled that this happened, and find out later two of the guys in our field knew about this guy. At least Tom tried to bridge when he attacked, with the other guy just sitting in the pack. Maybe it was the heat or early season, but if I knew who this guys was, I would have raced differently.
That is the beauty of this sport, well that is how I see it. The ever changing game with no one race ever being the same. This is the part of the sport that has hooked me. So now we are racing for second place which does not excite me one bit. With one lap to go Gene starts the lead out, I take over through turn 1. Bob is one my wheel though I double check this before the wind up. We come out of turn 8 going really fast and I sit up. Heagney is the first wheel I see and Bob is 1/2 a bike behind with 100 meters to go, I am not happy. I screwed the pooch twice in one race, knowing I could have kept my head down and sprinted, most likely holding Heagney off for second. I say this having a full two bike gap with 180 m is a lot to make up for anyone. Should a, would a, could a, all excuses, Mike had a good close to the race for 2nd, Bob gets 3rd, Enzo 4th, Gene 7th, Ward 8th, and Whipple 12th after crashing and taking the free lap. 4 of the five Enzo’s guys in the money. This eases the sting of the multiple ball drops by the captain.
The team is racing well and we will only improve. It will be really fun when we have all the players in one race!