Saturday, April 17, 2010
First Race of 2010 - Durand Road Race
I opted for the Masters 35+ this year. I've never finished with the main pack in the 1/2/3's in Durand in 6 tries, so it was an easy call. Good thing too, that race disintegrated on lap 2 of 5.
My intention was to take it easy, and conserve my matches. My Flanders teammate Bill Morice took off solo right away. Knowing 4 laps in that wind is an awfully tall order by yourself, the move was ignored. In fact, our 1st lap was more like an easy training ride. Jim Bell and myself took light pulls in the wind, an everyone seemed content. Pmax got GSCA motivated on the front for a few miles, but then they shut it down. We doddled enough where the entire 45+ field, split into 3 groups, each passed us.
On lap 2, Binkowski of GSCA put in a couple good digs, the second resulting in a small gap with Hanna, Snider, and Jim Bell. I missed the move, and dug deep in the tailwind leg to bring them back. That narrowed the group considerably, with Morice still up the road, and out of sight.
Snide and Dave Peterson attacked heading into the climbs on the westward stretch, and it took a bit of work by Jim Bell and myself to bring them back.
Entering Lap3, Mark Mlinar turned on the afterburners, and guttered the group. It was mayhem! I got caught back a bit, and had to battle my way all the way up to Jim Bell's wheel. I'm at my limit, and when I look back, no one is left. I yell up to Mark to move over so we can rotate, and thankfully he obliges. Unfortunately for me, it was too little too late. Even after sitting out a rotation, I pop. Damn. Missing the move sucks, but making the move and then popping sucks much worse!
I dropped back to what was left of our field, and started rotating with them. To make matters even more interesting, we were mixing with the 45+ group again. They were on their last lap, and we had 2 to go. Eventually, our group finds a rhythm, and we work to stay together. None of us had any delusions of catching the lead group.
Up front, the lead group gathered up Morice, and impressively, he stayed with them. Well done! In the end, MacGibbon attacked a couple times on the last lap, and Hanna was forced to go after him in the finish stretch with Mlinar in tow. The caught MacGibbon, with Mlinar coming around for the win. Hanna 2nd, MacGibbon 3rd. Jim Bell also made the front group, but his skipping gears kept him off the podium.
I expected our group to just roll in, but Mike Phillips had other ideas. He jumped away on the turn to the finish, and no one reacted. I waited patiently, now inspired to sprint it out. I sat 3rd wheel about 400m out when I jumped. Snide was on my wheel, and we easily caught Mike. I was able to hold on for the best of the rest prize. Small consolation after getting dropped from the winning break.
Jordan raced the 1/2/3's and found it as tough as I knew from first hand experience. Like most of the field, he got caught out by the gutterball on lap 2, and found himself looking for friends. He hooked up with other riders through the end of lap 4, and then did the last lap solo. The kid will not quit a race. Well done Jordan!