Night one was on a 12 turn, yes 12 turns, course that had amazing pavement. It was smooth and flat with almost no holes or bumps. The start finish stretch was the best part of the course in my opinion. It is one of the few courses that I have raced on this year that you got a chance to ramp up into your sprint rather than jumping out of a corner. I was able to clock my fastest speed ever in a sprint at 39.1 miles per hour.
The P1/2 race was held in the dark and it was exciting to watch and I hope race. Our team was very active in the race going for primes and getting a rider in the break of the day. Grant, who is our youngest cat 2 on the team (23) made the break and in the end was able to make a great sprint for 3rd place. His first cat 2 podium! Luke Bligh, our top sprinter won the field sprint after a great lead out by the team. I also saw Matthew Kelly of Chicago Wheelmen hold off the field's chase to finish between the break and the field and Cameron Rex laid it all out trying to get away from the field over the last quarter of the race. He was just pipped on the line by Luke. It was great to see a race with so much talent and power in it that anyone could have won.
Sunday at the school yard crit we were offering some of the biggest and most primes that I have ever seen. We not only had $1800 + in payout for the P123 field but $1000 in primes. The biggest one was a $500 prime and we were told when the prime was going to happen. On the second lap of the race, as long as there were no crashes on the first lap. This was going to hurt!
First I was going to race the Cat 3/4 race however. We had Keith, Mike, and I racing with only Kyle Cress and Rob Landes being our only real competition. We used a tactic that has worked over and over again this year, we sent Keith to "wear people out" on a break away, and he ends up sticking the thing for the whole race! The dude has a motor that just doesn't quit! Rob and Kyle did their best to catch Keith, but the rest of the field did little to really help pull him back. I only went for one prime in the race as I was a little worried about the slight uphill finish and wanted enough for that finish. Mike did a great job helping me keeping me out of the wind and near the front. On the last lap I asked Mike to lead me out through the last two turns. Mike took me through turn 3 in 2nd with Rob fighting me for his wheel. The plan was for Mike to go from the inside of turn 4 and swing out wide and I go right into my sprint. With Rob fighting me for his wheel though I was overlapping Mike's wheel on his left and would have had to slow down to go inside him. I started yelling for him to go right after the turn. This did two things, it allowed me to swing wide and carry good speed into the sprint and it also put Mike a little into Rob's way. Nothing illegal or dangerous, just enough to give me a bit more of a jump on him. I took 2nd in the race after Keith. I was turning out to be a great day for QMC as Brian had placed 2nd in the masters race with Mike in 9th.
The last race of the day was the P123, I think I was the only 3 in the race but I wanted a chance to help my team win the big $500 prime. I had told my team that I was going to bury myself to try and help us win that thing. I didn't even care if I finished the race, or even the next lap. The race started and I moved to the front right after turn 1. There was a rider that had taken a flyer and I wanted to make sure I kept the speed up so that Luke could get into a good spot. We came around the start finish and they rang the bell, the prime was on! I was starting to hurt now but I just kept pushing as hard as I could. I remember seeing 28 or 29 mph, not a bad speed to keep things stretched but I didn't have much gas left. As we rounded turn 2 I started asking my teammate to come up. I kept my pace up as much as I could but we were in a pretty stiff head wind and I was tiring fast. That was when we were jumped and Luke last his position a bit and was now behind one of the fastest guys in the area in a sprint, Devin Clark. As I was quickly dropping back through the field I knew we had lost the big one as Devin started to ramp it up and Luke had to come from 2 riders back. I believe Luke was able to catch Devin, but was not able to come around him, pretty good but not quite there.
After the prime, Devin just kept going with Josh Johnson. I was just barely able to latch onto the back of the pack and spent the next couple laps just trying to recover. At some point there was a crash in turn 1 off into the grass. Grant and Luke both went down with Luke landing hard and on his head. Grant was a bit flustered I guess and instead of taking his free lap he jumped back on his bike and tried to catch the pack......he never made it. Now there was a group up the road and we didn't have anyone in it. I didn't have much left but I had enough to do a small pull and try to do something. I hit the front and pulled for a little less than half a lap and then pulled off. I was just hoping to get close so the gap would close, but luckily Jason was on my wheel and jumped hard and was able to make the break. My day was done however. The stress of getting the race set up, racing, and running it all weekend was just too much to be racing twice this day. But it was a great time and I would do it again.
Turns out I most likely will too, look for the ToN next year, bigger and better!
|It might look like I don't know what is going on, but that I just how I look.|
|Banners at the start finish|
|The local police were great and seemed to have a good time.|
|Not the biggest field of the year, but this P1/2 field had a lot of heavy hitters in it.|
|First year of the race and we already brought in riders from Chicago. These guys know what a good thing is.|
|Just FYI, Luke has a gold bike. Like real gold......gold gold.|