Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ToAD Grafton

The second day of ToAD was looking to be another great day for racing. The weather had cooled off a bit and I was feeling pretty good. The course was even more technical this day, and there was a slight uphill that was about 1 block long. Going into the finishing stretch was a very hard over 90 degree turn into one of the longest finishing straights I have ever seen.

My uncle Kurt and cousin Eli were able to come with me to this race so I was hoping to show them a good time. We got there and just happened to set up on a turn that had a huge party on the other side of the street from us. This one house had put up small bleachers, hired a band, had matching lederhosen and green hats on. Every time the race came around the cheered so loud and banged these noise makers. It was super cool! The race organizers actually asked them to help with corner control because they were having trouble keeping people off the street there. These people did a great job with it. They even got to ride in the pace car for a while for their help.

So my race was going off at 2pm again. My plan was to sit in with good positioning and try to get some upgrade points. I knew that everyone would be watching Brian Ellison but just in case I was going to keep an eye on him too. I got a pretty crappy starting spot again so the first couple laps were really tough. I had to really work hard to move up into position but once there the race was fairly easy. I always made sure I was following the surges, making up spots in the corners, not getting stuck behind slower riders on the hill, and trying to be quick out of the last turn so as not having to jump as hard. On the preem laps I just made sure to anticipate the attacks and stay near the front in case a large group got up the road.

Everything stayed together for the most part throughout the race. There was a little bit of bumping but nothing that I would consider dangerous. That changed however as we neared the end of the race. The speed increased dramatically, and everyone wanted to be at the front now. This was where I was now having trouble holding my position. To be able to keep moving up I needed to stay near the side of the pack, but this also put me into the wind. Also guys were really starting to make more dangerous moves, jumping to the side from deep in the pack. Maybe I let this slow me down in some spots and it cost me some positions, but I was trying to not let it bother me. The only crash I remember happening though was on the second to last lap going up the hill on the course. It happened behind me so I don't really know what happened. The place that I was sure a crash was going to happen was at the tight final turn. Going through the turn was quite a bit of tar, and each time over it you could feel a slight wiggle from your tires. I just knew someone was going to hit that turn really hard and take a lot of people out. Luckily it didn't happen though, and the sprint was clean and fast. I however was too far back to make any real showing and placed 22nd. Not quite my goal, but a good safe fast race. 27mph average with a hill wasn't bad for me, maybe the fastest race I had been in to date.

My uncle, cousin, and I stuck around to watch the rest of the races over the afternoon. We had a lot of fun, and my uncle was amazed at the speed and skill of the Pro1/2 racers. He had such a good time he called up my aunt and convinced her and her family to come out and watch the next day of racing in Waukesha. I was pretty pumped they were going to come out and support me. Just had to make sure I made it worth their wile.

This was the party across the street from where we set up. I bet it went on late into the night.

No comments:

Post a Comment