Monday, March 1, 2010

RIR race: Pics and Race Report

I have been excited about this race ever since I saw it on the race calendar.  The excitement grew when I saw that the 3/4 race would have 100 racers.  Unfortunately my team, the Virginia Beach Wheelmen, only had 2 racers among the 100 starters.  That meant that team tactics would change slightly.  With some teams having 15+ racers lining up to the start, I figured our job was to race near the front and race smart.

Here is what I thought would happen:
The race would start fast and we would see many attacks.  A group of 5 to 10 would get away that would contain many of the large teams.  A few riders would bridge the gap to make it a break of up to 20 racers.  The back group wouldn't chase because of too many teams being represented.  Kevin Horvath (my teammate in the race with me) and I were just going to ride near the front and watch for this move to occur and make sure we were both in the front group.
 Here is what actually took place:
The race started off slow and essentially stayed slow.  Some moves were made but the breaks never seemed to want to work together and they were always quickly returned to the pack.  The race always seem to slow up into the headwind, so there was not enough "hard" riding to have an effect on the pack.  So it came down to a 100 racer sprint with everyone thinking they had a chance to win.
 Some pics:


How I actually did:

I was a little nervous going into this race.  I had come down with a chest cold two days before and really wasn't feeling very good.  But no excuses.  I showed up to race and I showed up to try and get a win for me or my team.  I was really hoping for a large break away that I could get into.  Kevin and I both attempted "sponsor fly aways".  Mine was more of an attempted to test my legs and lungs.  Legs felt good, lungs not as much.  We both stayed near the front the entire race, so we were good on our plan there.  My heart rate stayed low, and like I said, I had wished some of the bigger teams would have pushed the pace higher.  Near the end I had positioned myself near the front.  On the headwind section on the final lap I jump on what I thought would be a lead out train.  Carry Town had 3 riders charging to the front.  They usually produce a pretty good lead out so I jump on them.  They took me right to the front, then they lost their momentum.  I, unfortunately, was on the inside of their wheel.  When they slowed another train passed on the outside and I couldn't get around.  So I ended up riding in near the top 20 or 30, just missing the crash on the inside lane.  Kevin finished ahead of me keeping his good position in the top 10 perhaps.  We will see when the results are posted.  
 Overall it was a good race and just as much fun as I had hoped.  Good job to the promoters and good job on that many people coming out in February to race.
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