It was the first hot weekend of double racing in the VCA this year. I was pretty excited about it. For some reason, racing on Saturday and Sunday, both crits, is harder on my legs than just racing twice on one day.
The day for me started on Saturday morning when I got to Little Creek to support Carter Baker, the 10 year old racer I am coaching. He lined up with the 10-14 and 15-18 year olds for 40 minute race in the heat at 11:40am. Wow, this would be tough. He did well. The heat got to him and so did the distance. But not once did he even think it would be okay for him to drop out. He rode hard and always seemed to be trying to catch the riders ahead of him. We could tell by his look as he passed us on the side that he was thinking "why, why am out here".
Good job Carter. He rehydrated, went out later with his mom for a recovery spin and was ready to race the next morning at 8:30 am.
Also part of the VBW family was Chris Larkin who raced the Master's race 40+ early. This was a tough day and a tough race, especially since he was isolated with no other teammates. He looked strong and rode well. I don't know his final results. He later tried the Cat 4 race in which the early race and the heat was just a little too much. He ended up pulling out to start his recovery for the next day's event. Chris will be moving in just over a week so we are really going to miss him. Thanks for being part of our team Chris, you will be missed.
I raced the Cat 3 race along with Mike Tamayo, John Gray and Kevin Horvath. We had the second largest team in the race behind TNP. Unfortunately the tactics still did not go our way. We anticipated a split in the field and worked hard to stay in the top 5 places or so. A break of two got away that we didn't react to, then another two bridged the gap, still without us. We finally got Kevin away in another break of 3 riders. Kevin ended up getting 6th and I took the best of the rest with the field sprint and John finished 2 behind me. Mike ended up 16th. Not a bad day but we should have been better.
The next morning I was at Langley to support Carter once again. He did really well and felt a lot more comfortable drafting and pacing off the other riders. He ended up with a 3rd place medal. Good job. Also he made a good friend. Dane Craddock and him were still on their bikes hours later racing each other in the infield. Great to see that level of fun and competitiveness at that age.
Chris Larkin once again raced the Cat 4 race and played a smart race. With three riders dangling off the front with one to go, Chris started the sprint while crossing the line for the bell lap. They nearly caught the group and Chris maintained 2nd in the field sprint for a top 5 finish. Great job.
The Cat 3 race had me, John, Kevin and Mike once again line up. We all road aggressively but once again missed the winning break of 4. We chased for a while but once lapped we played the game to try and salvage top places. We ended up 7, 9 and 10. Three in the top ten, not bad, but we could do better.
Thanks to all the promoters and volunteers for this weekends events. Great racing, hot days, no shade and August tan lines in June...I love it. Next weekend: