Since I raced first, I'll go first. The fifty plus field had four teams of multiple racers: TNP 5, JRVS 4, Hilton 4, Tripower 2. In the field were the usual suspects of strong riders. Starkey, Lawson, Raineer, Simet, Bilotta, Santos, etc. I tried to form a breakaway five or six timestimes, but could not get anyone to work with me to stay away. Perhaps it was the strength of the time trialists in the field that detered the thought of breakaways, although that seems backward. Everytime a break went with the three big teams or either of the tripower guys (Lawson and Starkey) it fell on me to bring it back. Bilotta would jump to get across, but would not work if anyone went with him i.e. me! So that is how it went for 26 laps. At lap 26, it was if the teams agreed it would go to a last lap sprint and they all sat up. With 4 to go I took a dig to see if anyone wanted to go for it only to have a JRVS come across to slow me down by "soft pulling". I came back to the pack and led into the final lap riding easy at tempo. Just at the start/ finish the trains formed up and gunned it. I jumped onto the fifth wheel and thought Oh Yea, bring it on. But coming out of corner one an independent rider who thought they could come around on the inside could not hold the wheel and swerved out and forced me to brake. That was all it took to lose the wheel. I worked hard to get back into it, but the leadouts were flying and I could not get back to the front. Not wanting to be the jackass that sprints for 12th I was satisfied to ride in hard, except the jackass that forced me to brake was trying to come back around me. Pissed me off so I took just enough of a dig to cross in front of him. I am not sure what the official finish was, but it does not matter. If you aint first, your last! Yes I am disappointed in the result, but do take pride in being the only one who really tried to force some racing and worked only when it needed to be done (more than I would have liked). It was hard but I felt like I was a match for the competition. Now If I can figure out how to hang on in the road race to be able to help Bill when it counts.
nice job Steve. Team racing sucks when your on this end of it. Wish i coulda been there.
I'll second Steve's post about breakaways not working. I got in several, some with one or two guys, some with 4 or 5. I actually got in one and the guy was telling me to go easy and that they were catching us (we still had a few seconds gap)! I'm sorry, I thought I went on the attack for a reason! Sure enough, one guy I had ID'ed as a good guy to have in a breakaway countered with another guy after the field caught me, and apparently those two guys stayed away. I took a few more digs, jumped up to a few things and finally had to settle in for the sprint. I got back from a 2 laps to go attack so I had to dig to get back into the lineup for the final lap and sprint. I was around 10th or 12th wheel into the final turn. Got out of the turn and stood up, saw there was no real way I could get out of the box I was in and sat down crossing in some position that I don't know. Despite the legs feeling a little worse for wear from the previous weeks training they came around on race day. I was really happy with the way I could go on the attack and then settle into a good LT zone and start churning away. This is a marked contrast to last year when any attack I did normally resulted in me being pulled back within 15 seconds at best. Definitely feeling better in terms of recovery from efforts, still lacking just a little but it sounds like Bill has that in store for us next month. How did the 1,2,3 and 4 and 5 races turn out?
Great job to everyone who raced. Maybe in a few years you'll see me in something other than the Cat 5 races.I was really nervous before the Casey Crit. Very very nervous on the trainer, ready to vomit all over. But it wasn't my trainer, so I held back. I should have listened to Bens advice - he said I should grab Joes wheel and stay there. If I had done that I would have been fourth - but I'm not unhappy with my performance. Because I did too much work in tradezone I tried to make sure there were a few people in front of me. Towards the end I thought someone said that we were on a preme (sp?) lap, and that I hadn't heard the bell. So I went off the front, trying to win the imaginary bell lap. At the very end of the race, going into the corner that all of the BWR cars were parked near, I was sandwiched between two riders. My cat 5 intuition told me I was going to crash, but whatever I bumped on the other riders bike only broke a spoke. After the corner one rider yelled "Get off the track!" But I had rolled far enough to know that the spoke wheel was still safe. I was tired coming into the last corner, and gave it my all, but didn't get a podium finish. I'm still happy though.
Here is how the race went for me in the 1,2,3 race. From the start, we were missing some of the BWR firepower, but Jinksy was a man possessed. He was always in position and really battled all day long. He is the man-o-da-match in my eyes. The two biggest teams represented were Richmond Pro and Team Nature's Path. The best thing in our race was the presence of several smaller team like Van Dessel Factory team, Team Type 1, and Atlantic Velo. The entire race kicked off in firework fashion, as Dan King said it would before the race. Jinksy answered, "Having fireworks legal is why I moved to VA!" Game on.The speeds were great and not being able to push the 13 or 12 meant certain death at the hand of this quality field. A billion breaks formed, but the right mixture was keeping it humble. I was in several attacks and barely managed to get back in the the ever-constant single-file line. Some of the moves had the right mix(and me, which was a bonus for me) and they did not get away.?? It was really hard coming back, as there was ALWAYS a conter, conter,conter-attack. I got off the front in a serious manner about 7-8 times, which killed my hopes at great sprints at land's end. I did pull back 15 seconds of a 20 sec break without any help from a certain CAREYTOWN rider. Everyone has their own logic(or lack there of), so I can't knock him too badly. I tried again to make the final cut with 9 of 66 laps to go. I went with Craig Dodson(RPC) and after 3/4s of a lap he said "Sorry buddy, we just need more riders." I respected that but still stayed there pulling anyway. My day was done and I held a relative position to sprint into 13th. Great fun for sure!
The 1,2,3, was my frist real ride with the big boys.Now I have seen the back side of pro in a race over the years, but I don't remember it moving quite so fast. The biggest impressions I can take from the race were lap board starting at 66lps, speed & close proxsimity of riders, constant attacking!! The course and type of riding seem to fit more so than others that I've raced. Exstatic to roll in 22nd. In the Pedals Jinks
It was fun being back 'in the News' as we used to call it...Newport News, racing around in my old HS stomping ground. The course was much friendlier than I had heard/expected, especially in terms of the corners. Great job by the race to put up hay bales in strategic spots and generally layout the course as best as possible given the constraints. A little sobering to hear about the injuries sustained in some of the crashes...guess that's the risk with so much energy concentrated in such a small area (half mile lap dead flat).The Cat 3 field seemed pretty fast...I was in position to watch Greg make several attacks really launching off the front-sides. Very cool to watch. I tried a couple myself but without much effect. The one time I did get with a guy who wanted to work I was already shot and looking for an O2 mask off someone's wheel. I did manage to recover after every effort and worked back up to the front consistently...even got to do a little 'false work' at the front once when Greg was off the front to help slow the pack. Went pretty well since I was trying to catch a breather anyway. Of course that lasted maybe 15 secs before the pack caught on.One comment about the 3 field vs. the 123...don't recall many sketchy moves in any of the 123 races but still saw a number of them in the 3 race. Much more subtle than the 4's but still not as smooth as the 123. I did appreciate the consistently high pace and speed in the turns...and our cornering drills have helped me tremendously in terms of staying with these faster packs. These high octane crit races are a great confidence boost despite the somewhat depressing odds of finishing on the podium...the intensity is great. There is slack time in the 4 and 40+ races but virtually none in these 3/123's, especially if you want to work. It will be nice and pretty interesting to see what we can do with all our firepower concentrated on one 3/4 race this weekend. I could see a case for just rotating guys to and then off the front in a continuing series of attacks until one sticks. With six of us we could probably do that in the crit.One comment on the 123 race and tactics...got to witness many of the moves the teams made. One brilliant (though ultimately futile) move was with about 3/4 laps to go RPC blocked at the front for maybe 30 secs at the precise time they needed to in order to ensure their guy and the 4-man break he was in stayed clear of the field. Their guy (Dodson maybe) got beat at the line by the older King in a pretty amazing 'walk-down' in the home stretch. Bill and Jinksy were very much in the mix in that race and looked great. Congrats to all our other racers...we were very well represented!