14 Aug Winfield Twilight Crit and ABR National Championships
Winfield Criterium Weekend
Saturday Twilight P-1-2
This was the 13th year that ABD has held this great weekend of racing. An evening Crit on Saturday and the ABR National Championship on Sunday, both courses being in Winfield. The twilight crit course is one of my favorite having a nice 1k @ 4% grade followed by a twisting downhill. Sunday’s course is 4 corners with a shorter hill that is steeper. Not as exciting as Saturday, but a good course for breaks.
Enzo would have 4 people racing on Saturday, though only 1 of the 1-2 kids (Tim Speciale). Our top rider is done for the year, not really sure why, but that is how it is. The other three would be Bob Karlow, Gene Tolli, and Enzo. The ABD squad, being the host team is always looking to win these races and had 8-9 guys racing, about 20% of the field. Big Shark also had a good number of guys, with Josh Carter wearing the Big Shark kit. Josh is recovering from a bad crash in June and breaking his back. He is happy to be riding his bike again, we are happy that he is recovering and riding as well. There are also two Colombian National team members racing. Both of these guys are track racers having a good turn of speed and will need to be watched.
The race starts fast holding 40 kph on the up hill, Bryan McVey was setting the first lap pace, with Enzo sitting third wheel. The next 5 laps went the same with a few attacks on the hill. This was only a one hour race so I knew it would go fast from the start. About 8 laps in another small break forms but this group has my attention. Two ABD’s on an ex-pro, one Colombian, and one big shark rider. After 1.5 laps they had gain 20 seconds on the group with a little help, text book blocking by the two well represented teams, mainly on the down hill section. Next time up the hill I go to the front and set a fast tempo. The idea is to bring the break close enough for one of the Enzo’s to bridge, since I think this is the winning move. A full gas lap and Tim Speciale takes over on the up hill, now we are about 8-10 seconds from the break. I am not happy since neither of my guys made the move to go across. The next time we would see four these guys was when they went to the front of the race after lapping the field.
We have raced very well this year as a team and I should not be disappointed. My problem is I am a competitor, most times sitting on a start line means we will win the race, at least that is the team plan. The plan did not come together this evening, thus why it is called racing, not winning. These are the races that will help us grow as a team and also become closer as a racing family. We win and lose as a team. Enzo becomes stupid in the final 2 laps and does not finish in the money, though Gene keeps his focus and finishes 9th, nice work Geno.
Sunday – ABR National Championship
Master’s 30/40+ Combo
After being schooled by the fire power of the ABD kid’s I decide to double up and race the Master’s races on Sunday. We will defend the Jersey that Gene Tolli won last year in the combo race, taking the 40 plus and the overall win. Second will be the 50/55 plus old man’s race. I am still salty about missing the break last night and tell the team, we are going to hurt some people today, laughing out loud. The boys hear this and also start laughing, so much for a lengthy pre-race meeting!
Having our plan the race starts off at a nice pace, with attacks starting on the second lap. We are in every move with , Gene, Brian, and Bob all having goes trying to make a break stick. I thought Bob was in a move that had a good chance so I moved up to block, but the front of the race was still chasing hard. As they are caught, the next counter attack goes on the hill. I make sure to be connected, since I am up to bat. Being the last guy I yell we have a gap, so the attacker does not have to look back and stays on the gas. After turn one the group is reconnected and the same ABD guy (Jacob Rytlewski) counters his own attack, this time Nate Iden and Brad Menna are on his wheel. I cross the split quickly making contact in the back stretch, just before the hill. None of the guys in this move know that Jacob is an ex-pro and is just 30 years young. He throws down the power and has the group in trouble, I am hurting, but no more than normal in the first 5 laps of a winning break. I keep checking to see the gap and we are gaining about 5-7 seconds per lap. Then I see a guy trying to bridge, it is a Scarlet Fire jersey, sorry but this is not going to happen. I go to the front and help Jacob with a half lap hard pull. Checking the gap I see that there is an Enzo with the Scarlet Fire rider, ooops. Then from the side line Delfino yells that Bob is bridging, I give him a thumbs up for the info and now will sit on the back taking zero pulls. After two laps the two chasers are loosing ground, Jacob has been pulling the entire time gaining ground on the two and the field. Not seeing my team mate any longer, we receive a time split of 1:30 on the field. I start taking pulls again, though there are circumstances that have made this a really weird break, I will leave it at that. The final attack comes from Jacob at the top of the hill and he solo’s for the W. We sprint and Nate nips me at the line, Brad was awesome to give the lead out, thanks Brad.
Being the only 40+ guy in the break, Enzo defends the jersey, though getting third in the bike race. Not great from a 4 person break! Bob ends up besting Chris Morosa for 5th, which is 2nd in the 40+, and Brian finishes 4th in the 40+. Enzo has 3 on the 5 place podium. Thanks for the help blocking boys. As I said earlier, we win and lose together.
Not much to say about this category except congratulations to Andy Kerr for the win, beating Tom Doughty in the sprint, by a bike throw. The three of us are close friend’s and Tom was not happy about the outcome! This is an inside joke that we are laughing about. I was not feeling great after playing with the kid’s on Saturday evening and the 30/40 race just before the 50’s. It was good to see Druber back in the field after a long down time rehabbing an injury. Welcome back Mark, who finished 4th with a solo effort for the last 6 laps. Nice.
It has been a season of growth for the Enzo squad. Injuries, the death of , not so superweek, and some internal drama, made this quite a weird road season. Next for Enzo is a little down time, weight room, running and rock climbing outside, all prep fpr the CX season. Enzo will not race cross until later in the season since the final events will be the second or third week in January!
For those that do not know, the World Championships are going to be in Louisville this year. Not only master’s world’s but the top racers in the world will be racing here in the US, http://www.louisville2013.com/site/index.php. It will be a great way to kick off the end of the racing season, party hard in Louisville, February 2013.
Until the next race, safe riding and racing.