Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Henleyville Race Report

Place 7th
Category: 35+ Masters 123
Race: Henleyville Road Race
Team Mates: None
Field Size: 10
Conditions: Sunny with wind picking up throughout the day

I had targeted this weekend not so much for the racing, but to take the family up to Chico to visit a niece of ours starting her first year of college at CSU-Chico. Just my luck, OK I planned it out just a bit, that there would be two races over the weekend.

This was the first time I actually was able to wake up past 6am and make it to a Velopromo race on time. Nice to be staying close in Chico for the weekend. Our field was real small! Two Morgan Stanley's, three Zenn's, two Sierra Nevada/Bike Plus and then myself, Winder from Lombardi and a random Davis guy.

At the start the Davis rider decides to go up to the front and set the pace. Nothing too hard, but he kept pulling off and then rotating back into the front three. I stuck my nose out in the front a bit on the first lap, but not much. The Davis guy was just too ready and willing to pull us around. The feed zone was on a small pimple of a hill (maybe only a 3% grade at most).

Coming into the last few miles of the first lap the attacks started. This caused the Davis rider and one of the Zenn's to fall off the pace. Winder and I looked at each other and figured we'd sit in and watch the teams just punch/counter-punch each other. A first for me happened rather soon too...a pee break on the side of the road. Such gentlemen us junior geezers can be when the need arises.

Soon after we got back on the road and there was way too much talking between the represented teams. I had a feeling something was up. The attacks started again and finally there was one that stuck; it had one guy from each team. The remaining teammates looked at Winder and I with that pitiful look of "Hey, go chase them down...we're not!".

The break got up the road by about a minute, but Winder and I thought perhaps we could gutter the other teammates and bridge across in the crosswind section. We hit the corner and Winder launched me from the back of the pack. I put in a pretty hard dig, but the 3 chasers didn't want to let me go and reeled me back in within the next two minutes. Then Winder attacked. Rinse and repeat, it was the same thing for the next eight miles as we tried to make something happen/stick. We didn't have the numbers and the remaining teammates were more than willing to chase us down.

I resigned to the fact that we now were racing for 4th place. But my moral victory was that I had beat the Davis rider, so I was doing my part to help close the BAR gap. The winds picked up more on the final lap and we all eventually played nice and rotated through the pace line. Coming into the final kilometer the Morgan Stanley guy launches and I slowly bring him back. Just as we're about to catch him the remaining three guys launch their sprint. I rolled through 7th and learned what it feels like to miss the winning break and ride without teammates.

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