“And the beat goes on …” Sony and Cher (not sure if many of you remember them??) had more success with that than I have.
I’ve done the State Crit three times, in the last four years and today, I came in second for the third time. I have to admit, second in the state should be somewhat satisfying, but I’ve found each year to be less so. Briefly, here’s what happened.
The race was a combined field of the M60+,65+,70+ and 75+. Rick and I were representing Aggress in the M65+ and without Reg Dowdall in the race this year (out with a heart attack) it was pretty clear that our primary competition would be Jack Dillon and Dick Snyder.
On the first lap, a number of riders were dropped and we eventually would lap them. There were a few attacks but they were short-lived. The most promising was when three 60+ guys (Puchi, Mulvaney and McCormick) took off, with about four laps to go. They got a good gap on the field and it took me almost a half lap of all out effort to catch up with them … unfortunately, when I caught them, they sat up and the field eventually caught us … Puchi later told me, Mulvaney wouldn’t work with them so they sat up.
For many laps Jack Dillon was on the front and, based on that, my plan was to watch him get tired and on the last lap to beat him in the final sprint. So much for plans. He didn’t get tired! Jack took off on the last lap and Franz Hammer quickly followed. I got on Franz’s wheel and we caught up with Jack with about a half lap to go. Franz faded and a small group of 60+ guys caught us. When Jack accelerated again, no one moved to close the gap. I hesitated too long and Jack got a considerable gap over me. During the final sprint I closed the gap considerably, but there wasn’t enough real estate to finish the deal .. Jack first, Doug second, Dick Snyder third. Lesson learned.
Unfortunately, Rick had a different problem. As he was working to close the gap on the lead group, he caught his wheel and went down on the backside of the course. He managed to get up and finished the crit, securing fourth place. Fortunately, Liz was at the finish line to clean up Rick’s road rash.
This was my last race for the season and I’ll be having the rotator cuff surgery on April 30. Good luck to all doing Tumaccori tomorrow and the State RR. Go Aggress!
TBC Road Race
Well…..shucks. The RR was disappointing for me. Lap1 was basically uneventful with only a few furtive attacks that quickly fizzled. As I kind of anticipated, Reggie TT’d off the front approaching the Finish line after lap 1, and Franz Hammer went along for the ride to sew up his race early. Both were allowed to go. Franz because no one in our group cared, and Reggie because no one in our group can do anything about it, and by now we all know it. On lap 2 Dougie and I attempted a couple of attacks right after the railroad tracks but both ultimately fizzled, and Tom Wallace correctly chose that moment to counter-attack, and we were both tired enough that we were unable to answer, so Tom (+Jack Dillon & Roy Quade who went with him) got a gap established, and then began working hard together to enlarge it. By the turn onto Helmet Pk Rd we were perhaps 1/2 km back and Doug began a valiant effort to close the gap, and did actually reduce it a bit. John Conahy was dropped along with Doug and me, and given his weight (about 200 lb), he had to be the one to close the gap on that downhill, high speed rip. He eventually did come to the front, but did only a token pull, and I knew at that point we were screwed. I have no clue why he was not willing to work and close the gap, but he wasn’t, so C’est la vie.
Given the moderate West wind, my hill climbing ability was somewhat neutralized and, in retrospect, I think the only chance I might have had was to go with Reggie early, but of course, that would have only worked if the Peloton allowed me to go with them, and I don’ think they would have allowed that.
”Sometimes you’re the windshield, and sometimes you’re the bug.”
- Rick E.
Well, the Cat-3 was uneventful as well. I think all 50 riders were together at the finish line, everyone getting the same time. The head wind really prevented any attacks on the final climb. With so many riders, we were packed like sardines from white line to yellow line for the last few miles. I could not find any room to get around or through the pack. although I felt strong at the end, myself and Mike just were not in a position to get involved in a sprint. We all live to race another day.
Yup, as much as I appreciate what El groupo is doing for these kids, their a real pain in the ass. I occasionally had to give them the “NO!” as you would a unruly dog barking at nothing. I was aware of the break away but I also knew that these were dudes that had a pretty bad tt so was not going to chase nothing keeping Tim close to the yellow jersey occasionally reminding him not to work to hard. 25 mph wind in our face for the sprint was a real bitch, and not being a sprinter I felt that I wanted to leave nothing on the road and I went for it hoping to lead out Tim. I got into a Cavendish like sprint position and went balls the wall and had a 10 to 15 bike length lead on the field and held it till a huge gust of wind put me into reverse. Excuse my French Canadian A but I let out a “FUCK” and saw the the peloton one by one pass me up. But there was Tim drilling it. My job was done. Awesome job dude.
A huge thank to Liz and Doug for helping me get ready for my TT as I was a bit frantic getting caught behind tourist on my way to brown mountain aggress spot. And Mr. Lelond for his professional water bottle handling skills and I gotta say that Giordana (excuse the spelling) was there with bottle in hand every time. Great job, this makes a huge difference having you guys there, I’ve had some serious cotton mouth before, cough cough, but this dry wind made it almost impossible to breath without your tongue sticking to the roof of your mouth. But all in all I had a great time and am always grateful to be part of these events. Here today, gone tomorrow.
I will give a report for my Swiss Homie Jan Ulrich Schar, He is a twenty year old pro Mt.biker who has only done three road races and finds it easy in the cat 2. Damn kids. He flatted in the second lap and the support vehicle put a carbon wheel on his bike then took it back off because he did not have carbon brake pads. He said this took them six minutes or so. So he soloed the rest fighting the head wind still managing to put some riders behind him.
O.K this is where the story gets sweet. After the TT Rich invited Jan and I over for some steak and potatoes and beer to refuel for the RR. Isabella who took a liking to Jan and played with her adorable constant laugh made impression on him. He said that he was thinking of how funny and cute she was the whole time he was drilling it keeping his mind off the pain. The power of laughter. Thanks Isabella.
See you tomorrow for another round.
TBC Circuit Race
I thought my nickname was “Wheelman” … may need to change it to “Crash Perry”!
Today’s weather was ideal. I felt great and was ready for what should be my strongest event, in the TBC Stage race. Not much climbing, and when there is climbing, it isn’t at a very steep pitch. The finish is perfect for my strengths … slight uphill, after a nice downhill. I was ready to seriously compete for the win. For the first two laps, no one was making any significant attacks. Of course, on the third lap (the sprint point lap) things picked up a little. Just as we were about to enter onto Greasewood from Speedway, I was third in our group and we were overtaking two riders from another group, when “BAM”! a tire blew. The rider could not turn and continued on, right into my path. I had to brake hard and was never able to regain the momentum to compete for the sprint lap. Bummer. I wanted that sprint. Oh well, I was really most interested in getting a win today. For most of the race I was in, or very close, to the front. Felt strong and really felt that today might be my day. For the dastardly corner at Anklam and Speedway (the site of many bad crashes in the past), I made sure to be the first to go through on each lap, not wanting to be subject to any problems. After all with upcoming shoulder surgery, and a broken pelvis 18 months ago, I wanted to be as safe as I could be!
On the last lap, I was in the front, as we approached the corner at Anklam/Speedway. I gunned it a little and opened a very small gap on Reg and the rest of the peleton. I was gearing up for a fast ride down Speedway onto Greasewood and, hopefully, headed for a win! BUT, as I entered the turn, I realized I had a little too much speed going and made the rookie mistake of just touching my brakes. I started to slide across the two lanes and thought I might hold it, but then my left shoe unclipped. I couldn’t hold it and skidded onto the other side and went down. I still thought I might be able to get back onto the peleton and quickly got up, clipped in one shoe, looked down and saw my chain was off. Ugh! After several attempts, and 30-60 seconds, I finally got the chain back on. I started slowly to make sure I hadn’t damaged things so badly that the bike couldn’t be ridden. It seemed fine, but by then, I was out of contention. Ended up losing an additional 54 seconds by the time I finished. Reg Dowdall, in a classy move, slowed the peleton for awhile on Speedway to possibly give me a chance to catch on. I only ended up with some road rash, and hopefully a scraped up bike/wheels and not damaged bike/wheels.
I’m out of racing until the State Crit Championships on April 13, after which I’ll be having my rotator cuff surgery on April 30.
- Doug Perry