Monday, April 26, 2010

Binghamton Circuit Race

Well this was our first real weekend of racing. Battenkill does not count in my book (mostly because I essentially dnf'ed due to a mechanical- thank you wheel car for just driving by without stopping). Making the trek from all directions include Eric and Mike down from Potsdam'ish area; Bruce, Doug, Ashton, and Jeff from the greater Plattsburgh area; and myself from Princeton, NJ where I was all week for work.

Binghamton bound

The Fairfield Inn hooked us up with three first floor rooms right next to each other. There is no possible way that Marriott made money on our stay. Each individual member of the team essentially went to breakfast and said "yes, I will take one of everything." After our fill of granola, yogurt, coffee, Belgian waffles, bagels, coffee, fruit, and more coffee we made our way to the race.

It was a cold and rainy day. Really perfect weather for a race except for the fact that it was cold and raining. Doug, fresh off of his 2nd place Battenkill finish, and myself raced the first race. I didn't get much of a warmup in due to not wanting to sit outside in the rain on a trainer. So I did what any smart man would do to warm up, go on a solo break.

Said solo break

I headed back into the field after a few laps out and then Doug took his turn trying to get a few different breaks started. Essentially for the rest of the race I watched Doug mix it up at the front, covering breaks and trying to get stuff started while hiding. With a few laps left I started to work my way up to the front. Doug found me and offered some help but we got split up. A Team Ommegang rider went off the front with roughly one to go and almost held it. I shot out of the group like a prepubescent boy way way way to early, caught the Team Ommegang rider, then promptly died about 10 meters from the line taking 4th. Doug finished with the pack after putting in a lot of work during the race.

Next to go off was the 5 field which Mike, Jeff, Ashton, and Eric were all in. Jeff and Ashton mixed it up early trying to start breaks and attacking like made. They each made one to many attacks and were dropped by the field. Mike and Eric hung in strong for the majority of the race riding a very strong first race for them both.

Bruce's P123 race was something. Bruce covered every move he could and was pretty active at the front however a 3 man break made it away which did not include a Team Wear On Earth member. Bruce was leading the chase from the field to bring them back however he seemed to be the only one doing so. The break stayed away.

Bruce in the pack of the P123
Bruce, fairly fired up about the results of the p123 race went on a solo break from mile 0 in the 3/4 field that started immediately after his race. What was the purpose of this? Pent up anger? Looking for photo opportunities? Really just trying to get warm. Bruce came back into the field after creating a solid gap and staying away for a couple laps. We stayed pretty active at the front, covering breaks and putting in a few solid attacks one including both Bruce and Doug. In the end it all came back together. Bruce and I found each other in the pack and I began leading Bruce towards the front. I had good legs and as the climb started I could feel myself on the verge of blowing up and pulled off, leaving Bruce all alone to fend for himself. In hindsight (which sucks) I should have gone until I had blown up trying to get Bruce closer to the finish. Oh well, live and learn no? Bruce finished with a 7th in the sprint. Note to self, practice lead outs.

Not 100% sure what happened with the 5's second race of the day. I know Ashton and Jeff learned there lessons and stayed in the pack. Ashton ended up 7th! Overall a great weekend for the team. A lot of lessons learned for all parties involved and I am now one step closer to a Cat 3, only two more top 10's until I can upgrade or about 10 pts, whichever comes first.

Nice long report. Next stop Marshall & Sterling Saratoga SpaCrit. You can register here or come down to watch. If you are coming to watch, what better way to watch the race then by volunteering!

1 comment:

  1. Cat 5 2nd race:

    Indeed Ashton and myself (Jeff) did learn our lesson in the first race and mainly tried to stay in the main group. However, we still constantly found ourselves at the front of the group, due to the fact that for the most part the group would not keep a constant pace and would slow down often. We also started communicating better and pulled back a few break away attempts. in fact one of the breaks we pulled back was on a "fast lap," which Ashton just missed by a second or two. Eventually a small break of about 4 or 5 riders started and no one closed the gap. Fellow teammates of these riders were in the main group and started slowing things down for us, so the break survived. On the final lap the pace picked up and after the "big" decent of the course Jeff "the bold" started hammering away, but only succeed at bring the group along with me. Ashton played it smarter and stayed in the group, save energy and did very will on the final climb. Mike had a mechanical problem and had to stop early and eric put in another strong effort during the second race!