Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend - Day 1

Today was the first of 3 races put on by ABD. The first 2 races are in Wood Dale and the 3rd is in Batavia. The course today was downhill between turns 1 and 2 and uphill between 3 and 4. Also, the wind was from the east so it was with the riders going down the downhill and against the riders going up the upslope.

I wasn't sure how this race was going to go, but I had decided not to attack early and wait to see what opportunities present themselves at the end. The race had its normal eb and flow. I found it easy to move up after turn 2 if I was able to get a good line through the turn so I didn't have to brake. I found that I could take this turn faster than the others, so I filed that away in the memory banks. There was a big crash between turns 3 and 4 which went completely across the road. It started on the left and went like a domino across the road. If I remember correctly, there was a rider who almost saved it by riding to his right, but he lost control as he reached the right side of the road and 2 or 3 riders fell on top of him. I can tell I am over my fear of crashing as I made smart moves to miss the crash, but didn't have the normal post crash adrenaline crash. I hope everyone was OK from the crash as I know a Team Mack rider had to go get x-rays. Also, I heard there was a bad crash in another race. I hope everyone is ok from that crash as well. Ok, back to the race...

A couple of brakes got off the front and a few actually looked somewhat promising as there were 4 riders in one break, but the field never let them get very far. Without any dominant teams, there wasn't much chance of anyone getting away. I will say that Albertos probably did the best job of doing some amount of teamwork. Kudos.

Anyway, with 3 to go, I moved up in the field and felt really good going into the last few laps. I started thinking that I would have Mike lead me out at the beginning of the lap or I would lead him out. When the field took the bell, I told Mike to catch my wheel. Unfortunately, he didn't hear me. I took off and flew through the first 2 turns. I should have pedaled more through turn 2 but I had a good gap. As soon as I came out of turn 2, I caught a stiff gust of wind. That was a bit of a bad break, but it wouldn't have mattered. I snuck a peak half way between turn 2 and 3 and saw I had a gap of at least 100 meters, probably a bit more, but the pack was charging fast. I thought with about 1/4 of a mile left, I might have a chance. As soon as I took turn 3 into the wind, I knew that was it. I let up a bit and tried to catch a wheel as the field came up. No dice. I had nothing left. I ended limping in at around 30th.

I have no regrets about trying the flyer. It was worth a shot. Now, I have to take a look at the wind tomorrow and strategize what to try tomorrow.

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