11 May Urbana Grand Prix P/1/2 Race Report
The stage is set, will the kids stick to a game plan or leave their wing man again? The course is one that favors a break so this will be a great test of discipline. Race to win or race to show how strong they are?
Nick finds me asks me what the plan is going to be today? Lets see how you race without any help. He is not happy with my response and asks again for my opinion. The plan is X and I talk with the other guys about this concept, why it could work.
The whistle sounds and the race is on with Gene and I watching from the library’s veranda, which has chairs and is in the shade. The race is fast and we can hear guys riding the bad line though turn number one. Their bikes are bouncing over the rough pave’ make terribly loud sounds. I am amazed how strong these light weight bike really are. It makes me laugh when you see group riders pointing out these small holes in the road. If they only knew what we as racers do to these bike, rarely with any negative effect. Oh yea the race report sorry, the coffee has kicked in aiding the gray matter to fire too many thoughts at once.
Not long into the race Chris Uberti (Panther) and Jonathan Jacob (Bissel) are working together off the front putting time into the field. A little help from their team mates helps their attempt to win the race in style.
I think there is at least 50 minutes remaining in the race, so it will be about 40k’s worth of two man TT riding.
Keeping an eye to see if the boys doubt the plan again, not yet, they are looking good sitting in the middle of the field. This is a nice change as the pace of the race remains fast.
About 15 minutes left in the race, the two escapees are still 45 seconds up and Druber or Billy calls a cash prime for the field. Nick Ramirez steps up drilling it early in the lap holding on for the cash, also establishing a nice 10 second gap. Nick keeps rolling and I cheer him on, keep it going you have a nice split. Next lap he still has a gap with a panther rider catching him solo. I tell him help is on the way, keep the gas on. The other rider is Ryan Aitcheson, a 21 year young Canadian track star in the team pursuit. This is a good thing and the two of them work together gaining more time on the field. Panther, Bissel, and Enzo’s on the front of the field keeping the pace high enough that the attacks are nil. Tim Speciale is the Enzo’s rider assisting with the work up front and sits third wheel for a number of laps. Soon the two have 25 seconds and seem to be catching the leaders.
I tell Joel to move up, to get ready for the field sprint. He does this but stays about 15th place, we will see how this is going to work? The final lap and the Bissel rider leads out the sprint, being bested by Uberti. Next the sprint for third which not contested, Aitcheson rides away from Nick and the podium is full. Nick finishes an impressive 4th place, his best in a 1-2’s race ever! Now for the field sprint, Joel is maybe 12 out of the corner, which will not put any pressure on the first 2-3 guys. He passes a few guys and finishes 10th, with Speciale sprinting for 15th.
This was a good way to finish the weekend for the kids. They proved they can follow a plan, which is a big piece of the puzzle when learning to race your bike to win. Great work boys.