Racing tales from the great Pacific Northwest

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pacific Raceways Road Race - Flat Course.

I don't usually do a write up on this weekely series but after the weekend I had racing this turned in to somewhat of an epic race. After 14 races Mark, my teammate, and I are tied for second overall with Dave(Farestart) 3 points in front of us in first. This was scheduled to be the standard counter clockwise flat course with two primes. A lot of guys showed up to race in the first 80+ degree day of the year, including the guys holding all the points. I was definitely feeling the effects of Sunday and Monday so I wasn't sure if would even be a factor. I figured it would just be a tight grouped race with big mass sprint battles for the primes and then again for the final sprint. I was planning on letting other guys go for the primes and just hope I would have the legs to throw down for the finish. That was not how it played out.

We lined up for a 1:10 minutes of fun and right after Rory sent us off Dave jumped....I you f'ing kidding me? We had been joking with each other before the race so I thought he was just messing around. I looked over at Mark and shrugged my shoulders. After a couple of secinds we realized Dave wasn't sitting up and we couldn't take a chance. What were they(Farestart) planning? We decided we had to bring him back. We caught him by the beginning of turn one. As we rounded turn two I looked back and....Holy Shit!!! Only three guys had jumped with Mark and I and one of them was Nikos(Garage) who is in 4th overall. How did the rest of the pack let the top four guys in points get a gap. I guess they thought there was not way we would hold this for over an hour on the flast course. I yelled that we had a gap and that we should push the pace. We got organized and soon we were flying down the dragstrip and picking up speed. In the pack we had Vern and Jeff, Farestart had Martin and Paul and Garage had Matt and Brian. The other two guys in our break were from Cucina and Old Town. They also had numbers in the pack. We had the guys to help hold of the potential attackers from the pack if we wanted to try to make this happen. Only 1:08 to go!! Could be an ouchfest!

Our lead started to grow but not to a point where I felt we couldn't get caught. We pushed it really hard, each taking long pulls. We were rotating well but after a couple of laps the Old Town guy started to faulter. He hung on for a while and then started skipping pulls. I was hoping he would recover but on the next lap he dropped off. I was surprised when the Cucina guy dropped as well since he seemed to be doing fine. That sucked but now it was up to the four of us to keep this thing going. I was NOT feeling great at this point but didn't want to be the one to drop off. I knew we had a long way to go so I turned my Garmin to a screan that didn't show elapsed time. A few laps later we rounded turn 2 and could see the pack on the other side. We were holding steady but the pack was trying to make something happen. We had to hit the gas again hard......Not easy at this point. Dave was definetly doing the lion's share of the work and it helped to keep me motivated. Rory finally rang the bell for the first prime and we all decided to let Nikos take the prime since he was the furthest back in points. If we all tried to sprint it out we might kill ourselves. It could take a while to recover and get reorganized. That is was was the pack was banking on. We just held our paceline and I drifted off right at the end to let Nikos hit the line first. We didn't miss a beat. We kept plugging away and our lead finally started to grow again. We didn't let up but I was starting to feel the pain. Was I the only one??? I wasn't going to let these guys down so I kept grinding. Rory rang the bell for the 2nd prime and we all decided to play it out the same as the first. The next few laps hurt and I kept praying for Deanna to put up the "Two Laps to go" board but we went lap after lap with nothing. I finally couldn't take it and looked at my Garming. F*&k.... We were only 45 minutes in. We still had 25 to go!! I was not sure I could keep it going. The next time through we saw that a second group had gone off giving it there all to try to make something happen. I could see that Martin, Matt and Vern were with them so I knew that if the chase group got too close they would shut it down. We kept driving and finally got the signal that we had two to go. We didn't let up and I think that gave me renewed engergy and we drove on. We hit the final lap and it was time to figure out what to do. We had the advantage, having two of us but Nikos and Dave are both strong and smart. I was going to be an interesting finish. We kept trading pulls all the way through turn four. I was on the back when Mark yelled something lik, "Here we go!" I punched it and I think he was hoping I would jump on his wheel but because it was right in the s-turns I wasn't able to move up. No worries, I was sitting 4th and could sling shot around them with 100m to go. Mark was frikin' hauling with Dave on his wheel. I was kept my cool and waited for the right moment. With 100m to go I jumped....Holy Shit!! I came out of my pedal and almost went down. That has never happened to me before. I knew I was done and obviously knew no one was behind me and I was not going to cause a crash. Not even a half a second had gone by but as I was looking down to clip back in I heard a loud noise. I looked up just in time to see that Nikos had done the same thing. If I wouldn't have heard the noise I would have plowed right into the back of him. He stayed up and we just cruised through the line. Mark took first, Dave 2nd, followed by Nikos and me. Not exactly how I wanted to finish after going like that for 1:10 but what a fun race. No one skipped a pull thoughout this painfest. Thanks to the teammates who helped keep us away. As I rolled back to the car I noticed something wasn't quite right. I went to get off the bike and almost couldn't stand. Somehow I'd strained my left hammy when I came out of my pedal. OUCH!! Hopefully it is nothing serious and I'll be back at again next weekend.

1 comment:

  1. That was classic. The entire drive down Dave and I were talking about no break would stay away on the flats. Now I know it won't UNLESS it contains ALL the right people. Nice work.