Monday, July 13, 2009

Trouble in turn three and four and five

That's not what alot of people were thinking after this weekends crit in Gate City, Va.

Alex Dayton (in green kit, Kingsley behind) in his first Cat3 race, this kid is fast and he's only 15-16 ?????

photo credit: Marsha White

This is what the lower end of the .5 mile course looked like. Most terrible crit course ever!

Alas this is what most folks were commenting about................."this crit has more crashes than Nascar". The first junior race they hauled some kid out in an ambulance, I guess that set the tempo for the day as alot more crashes were to follow.

After church Austin wanted to head back to his mom's instead of sitting in the hot sun all day watching his ole dad race. So I took him home after church and headed to Gate City, Va. for the last part of the Tour de Possum Creek Omnium. I had not planned on doing this at all but the crit bug I have in me got out and I couldn't control it - I love crit racing! I arrived and took a look see at the course.....OMG! racing in a small parking lot??? That would be the case since the fine mayor of GC cancelled the crit downtown a week before the race. Now before I criticise this crit I want to make perfectly clear it's not Andy's or the other promoter's fault. They were handed lemons a week before and made lemonade with the crit, although it was a bitter lemonade. This was a very dangerous layout. They were using industrial blowers to clean and dry the turns when I got there, WOW!

I sat the ez-up up and got everything situated. After I got dressed I rolled out to ride the course to see how bad it really was going to be. Short and dangerous was a good way to describe it. I got warm pretty quick due to the heat and humidity. Rain was threatening all day but it never got us, we were very lucky. If it had rained I wouldn't have even got on the course to race, it was that sketchy! I returned to the ez-up and chatted with Jennifer (Alex's mom) and waited for my race to stage. I had alot of ladies under my tent, I only knew about 3 of them. I don't mind sharing it, don't get me wrong although when I get through with my race and I have no place to sit or no shade to sit in and there are strangers taking up my space....... I got a little miffed. I didn't say anything but I was upset.

After the masters race my class was next, Cat5. I should probably be racing Cat4's but I don't road race enough to cat up so I just stay in 5's. I took a couple of laps to get the legs going and rolled up to the line as my name was called. We got the spill and "GO". Dwayne Miller quickly set the pace. I knew he would probably take this as he's not a 5 for sure, he's much better! But one day license's put you in 5's. I let myself drift to the rear and hang out there like I normally do. After one lap I quickly had to make a game plan change. These dudes in the back don't know how to corner on a road bike!!!! New plan: get up front with Dwayne and Jimmie, so that's where I went. No one wanted to ride on the front except for Dwayne. He slowed WAY down to get someone to lead, it was ridiculous too so I went up and led. I doubled the pace on one lap, took it easy on another, did some "fakie attacks" on one and really did one lap all out. I slowed and Dwayne came back to the front and led it the rest of the way. I was comfortable with them around me in the turns so it made it alot easier. Two laps to go Dwayne broke and Jimmie tried to get him but Dwayne wouldn't let him get close. I was in 4th and I let a TCRC rider by me and just sat his wheel until the sprint, I figured I could get him the last hundred yards or so and I DID for a 4th overall. Someone said at the end of the day that the 5's were the only class not to have a crash. Go figure we are usually nicknamed "crash 5". Several of my friends have battle wounds from the race, alot of folks crashed. It wasn't a good day for some! Angie got back from the DZ early and joined me for the last two races....4's and pros.

Her cousin Andy crashed in 4's and busted up his bike. I got to it and noticed the problem and started fixing it when some dude jumped in and THOUGHT he knew what he was doing. He was pretty persistent but I kinda strong armed him outta the way and then ran to get a tool to fix it. It took 3 laps and I had his rear der cable back working. It sucked though, they only give ya two laps to get things fixed and get back in. If I would have had my 3-way tool in my pocket I would have had him back in by one lap. Oh well I tried! He was running 4th and ended up 12th. The last race of the day was the pros. Before the first lap was complete one guy crashed in turn 3. The next lap a guy went down so hard on his chest it ripped his gloves off his hands.....both of them! A few laps later another 3-4 riders crash near us! It was a mess! After that we took the EZ-UP down and met Angies parents at the Mexican restaurant downtown. It was pretty good too. Alas the day was over and time to drive back home. I was pleased with a 4th in the 5's considering I haven't been training at all in the last 2 months.......I will take it as a good day

*******no crash*******

LAter G............................


Anonymous said...

Smart going to the front, sitting in the back is apparently a bad idea. At least that's what Bobke keeps telling me from my television!

Glad you didn't get scuffed, and I hope the rest of those gents get better quickly!