Monday, May 28, 2012

Rock Island, so close to rocking for me.....

We lined up for our last day of racing this weekend. We planned to race the Cat 3 race and then jump right into the Masters 30+. I had some high hopes for today as the course is pan flat and has 8 turns, just the type of race I like. We were planning on rolling off the front with some breaks to see if anything would stick, if not we were going to meet up with a few laps to go and wind it up for the finish. Right off the bat Jason when to the front and drilled the pace for a few laps. Coming into a right hand turn I just sped up a little and pushed it though the corners not even attacking. I quickly had a good gap and hit a tailwind section. I saw two riders trying to bridge up to me and decided to easy up to let them catch. Now in my opinion when you bridge quickly you go right to the front and get the rotation working. Both riders that bridged had no real team in the race so there was no benefit to them sitting on, they were there to try and win. Instead they sat on though and when one finally did come around he somewhat attacked blowing me and the other rider off his wheel, great, time to sit up and go back to the pack.

The next attack I remember that I paid attention to was when a xxx rider Ryan Fay was off the front. Last year he won this race solo by almost half a lap. I didn't want to work to pull it back as I was still a little tired from my own attempt at a break, but I didn't want to let the race be over then and our team be racing for 2nd. Once again a Jr team was sitting on the front of the race not doing anything. I am fine with blocking if your team is up the road, but not any other time. Also if you have a team their size they should be learning how to throw their weight around and racing as a team. Whatever, another large team soon took over on the front and began pulling Ryan back but not before he was able to get out of sight of us. With a dude as strong as he is, that ins't something that can happen. A few other breaks were attempted throughout the race but nothing that was too dangerous. Most of my time was spent making sure I stayed in good position, looking to see where my teammates were, and planning how we were going to finish.

With a few laps to go another 4 man break that looked like it could make it all the way. The three of us had gotten near each other in preparation for the last few laps and when Jason saw what was up the road and that the pack was slowing, off he went. Eric and I quickly moved to the front and tried to slow the field as much as we could. Jason was able to make it up there but once there, the group sat up and the race came back together. We were all sitting in great position though with 2 or 3 laps to go. There were enough big motors up front that we were holding a pretty good speed and things were looking great. Then it happened, some idiot had to crash in the middle of a straight away, not only that by he had to do it right in front of me. Luckily I was able to weave my way through his body and his tumbling bike, but not before losing all my speed and 20 or more spots. Now I had to sprint just to try and hold that spot, and then jump a large gap up to the lead of the race again. 2 corners later and another idiot crashes in front of me, on a straight away. Again I had to slow to miss him and that was all she wrote. There was one lap to go and there was no way I was making up a block that quickly, and even if I could have I would have had nothing left for the finish.

Finkszilla was still able to save some face and took a payout place in 16th. Jason did another great job placing 6th. Once again he was able to put himself in get position and he has the motor to finish things off. With two corners to go the sprint was opened up and Jason tried to jump wheels and follow the leader into the 2nd to last corner. Once through that turn the speed is so high and the finish so close the placings were just about a done deal. That is one long sprint!

As soon as we finished the 3s race we jumped into the masters race. I didn't know how this was going to work out as I had never done two races back to back of each other. I didn't have any expectations and was looking to get just a little more speed work in the legs. I had found out the hard way the day before that masters racing is nothing to scoff at. Those dudes are fast! It was pretty cool to be riding with guys like Brian Jenson, and curent pro riders. That is until they decide they want to start racing for real and put us wanna be's into the pain cave of despair. I lasted 16 min and once I was dropped I was lapped in something like one lap. Once they lapped my the officials kicked me to the curb, and my weekend was over.

This is one tough weekend of racing. I don't know if I will ever be able to contend here. There are a lot of big hitters that come for the money, and tradition of these prestigious races. I'll keep at it but I have a long way to go.

Next weekend is another big weekend of racing, and just about the whole road team will be riding. First we are heading up to Glencoe, IL for the Glencoe Grand Prix. It is a great course hosted in a very nice neighborhood, and it has a ton of support. Then we are going to haul ass, and bikes, back south down to Rolla, MO to partake in the Hellbender road race. This is a difficult road race with some tough climbs and a lot of miles. It should be a good warmup for the MO state road race the next weekend.

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