Monday, March 21, 2011

Richond International Raceway Crit: March 20, 2011

I was very pleased to see this race return this year.  I registered for the CAT 3/4 race which had 93 racers in it.  We managed this year to go crash free.  I heard a few people say that they wish the organizers had broken up the fields into separate CAT 4 and 3 races.  For me, part of the draw is the huge field.  We don't get many opportunities to race in fields this size and I think it is good practice for moving through the field.  Ideally I would like it to have been a 100 racer field with all CAT 3's, but that is just not realistic.
(Here are a few pictures I found on Kevin Horvath's Facebook site)
Large field spread out.

Before the race trying to locate my spare wheels placed in the pit by my wife.

An attempt at a break.  Bridged up to a group of 4 and only 1 was willing to continue.  We got caught pretty quickly.

I started on the front and stayed at the front of the race for most of the time.  There were occasions, when a surge would happen on the opposite side that I would move back and then work my way back up.  I was the only one from Virginia Beach Wheelmen racing on this day so my plan was to stay attentive and maybe try to go with a break.  With average speeds around 26.5 mph, I knew it would be tough for a break to succeed, but you got to try anyway.

My second plan was going to be to simply try and make a move to the outside on the final lap.  I really didn't want to get mixed up to much with a field sprint, but I also didn't want to not try.  I thought I may have a really good chance at a high place if I made a move to lead things out on the final lap.  I was in good position, top 20 racers when we came to the bell lap.  I made a move going around the first bend, but the pack speed was already too fast.  Then a faster move come from the inside, which surprised me a little because of how tight it was to the inside of the track.  Those of us that attempted to use the outside of the track pretty much got overtaken by the move on the inside because they were more protected from the wind.  When I realized my move had failed, I just kept up my speed and rode safely in.

For me this race was not about a win, although I wanted it.  This race was about moving through racers and staying safe.  I am racing Jeff Cup next weekend with a large field and this race will help me feel that much more comfortable.

On another note, after the race I noticed what might be a crack in my stem:

I really can't tell if it is a chip in the paint or a crack but I think its time to get rid of it.  I have contacted FSA to see if I can send it in for them to look at and give me advise.  The only other stem I had at home was another FSA stem, aluminum nice one, probably even lighter than the carbon.  When I went to go put it on I noticed a crack in the carbon face plate of that stem.  Wouldn't you know the two face plates are different.  I originally used a torque wrench to install them, but I don't own one so I think I have taken them on/off without the use of a torque wrench.  I always felt though that I may have been under tightening them and not over tightening them.  Anyway, I think I'll swing by Sears and buy a torque wrench.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Results are posted for the 2011 Sleepyhole Smackdown

Thank you to everyone who came out to open up the VCA BAR racing.  It was a good day with fast racers and a very clean and fast course.  We only had one crash in which everyone ended up being okay even though there was an ambulance trip.  

I want to thank my team for all the help in making this race a success.  A very special thanks goes out to my wife, Jenni, who manages registration and all the race day admin work.

Men's Cat 5 1 Immeker Dan Tripower
2 Guerra Elias Hilton Cycling Club
3 Vann Andrew Celerity Cycling p/b Brooks Systems
4 Tempest Nicholas TriPower
5 Kent Roland Team Kainer Cycling
6 Crandell Eric Fat Frogs Racing
7 Stockdill Hilton Cycling Club
8 Burbey Ryan
9 Northup Adam Richmond Velo Sport
10 Callam Brian College of William and Mary
11 Clarke Ryan Richmond Velo Sport
12 Baldwin Michael Tripower
13 Sumrell Kenneth Fat Frogs Racing Team
14 Reichelderfer Jeff Fat Frogs Racing
15 Murray Ben
16 Clarke Taylor Team Whole Foods
17 Kennedy Samuel Hilton Cycling Club
18 Callery Bryan Christian Cycling / Hammer Nutrition
19 Eanes Sterling Team Three Sports
20 Bream Anthony
Women Cat 4/40+ 1 nicholson Sharon tripower 40+
2 winters leslie va asset 40+
3 Craddock Glenda Fat Frogs Racing 40+
4 Hill Marci Walt Racing Cat 4
5 McNelis Mallory Team Nature's Path/3Sports Cat 4
6 Schutz Morgan Fat Frogs Racing Cat 4
7 Schaefer kristin Rostello p/b Fiorucci/Cycor Cat 4
8 Leary Sharon Rostello p/b Fiorucci 40+
9 Fink Julie Fat Frogs Racing Cat 4
10 Hunter Julie VA Asset Group p/b Trek Cat 4
11 Peacock Amy Red Hammer Racing 40+
12 Wood Denise Red Hammer Racing 40+
13 Gonzales Megan Fat Frogs Racing Cat 4
Women 1/2/3 1 joyner emily va asset 1
2 Ingram Ali Vanderkitten Racing 2
3 Cook Laura Vanderkitten Racing 2
4 winters leslie va asset 1
5 Pope Jennifer Vanderkitten Racing 2
6 schmitz avanell va asset 3
7 Macdonald Brittany Vanderkitten Racing 3
8 Eichert Amanda Fat Frogs Racing 3
9 Seymour Jane Fat Frogs Racing 3
10 Craddock Glenda Fat Frogs Racing 3
Juniors 10-14 1 Clarke Taylor Team Whole Foods 14 - M
2 Carey Thomas Team Portsmouth 13 - M
3 Lloyd Chris Fat Frogs Racing 13 - M
4 mcnelis mallory 14 - F
5 Dujua Matthew Richmond Velo Sport / 3Sports 14 - M
6 Brookfield Grant Richmond Velo Sport / 3 Sports 12 - M
7 Craddock Dane Fat Frogs Racing 11 - M
8 Fitzgerald William Hilton Cycling Club 12 - M
9 schaubach Micah Walt Racing 13 - M
10 Pounder alastair Raleigh Allstars 10 - M
11 Warner Jacob Team Natures Path 13 - M
12 Dujua Leigh Richmond Velo Sport / 3Sports 11 - M
14 Horvath Judy Fat Frogs 10 - F
15 Carey Christopher Team Portsmouth 11 - M
Juniors 15-18 1 King Jake hot tubes development 16 - M
2 Keeling Chris Miller School of Albemarle 17 - M
3 Brookfield Parker Richmond Velo Sport / 3 Sports 15 - M
4 Schaefer Kristin Rostello p/b Fiorucci/Cycor 15 - F
5 Clarke Taylor Team Whole Foods 14 - M
Men's Cat 3 1 Mull Stephen Richmond Velo Sport
2 Grosicki Gregory College of William and Mary
3 Turner terry Hefler Performance Coaching/CBC
4 Gray John Virginia Beach Wheelmen
5 Netzer Dan Celerity Cycling p/b Brooks Systems
6 Tamayo Mike Virginia Beach Wheelmen
7 Harville Lucas Triangle Velo
8 Schwartz Dan NCVC/UnitedHealthcare
9 horvath kevin Fat Frogs Racing
10 King Jake hot tubes development
11 hunt mitch Fat Frogs Racing
12 Cundiff Frank Celerity Cycling p/b Brooks Systems
13 Pope Timothy Fat Frogs Racing
14 Sheridan Christian CRC
15 McNelis Edward Richmond Velo Sport
16 Goyet Joshua Virginia Beach Wheelmen
17 yengling michael Richmond Velo Sport
18 deaton jimmy Team Tripower
19 Blend Nick Richmond Velo Sport
20 Marques Joseph Charlottesville Racing Club
21 Pope Jennifer Vanderkitten Racing
22 Glasscock Robson Carytown Bicycle Company
23 Cook Laura Vanderkitten Racing
24 Ingram Ali Vanderkitten Racing
25 Macdonald Brittany Vanderkitten Racing
Men's Cat 4 1 Hoy Bryan JRVS/American Pride Auto
2 Keeling Christofer Miller School of Albemarle p/b CBC
3 Kyle Charles Freshbikes p/b SKANSKA
4 Dujua Oliver Richmond Velo Sport / 3Sports
5 Hale Wilson JRVS/American Pride
6 Levesque Rick Richmond Velo Sport
7 Clevinger Noah JRVS/American Pride
8 Younkin Joe Southside Tri & Cycle
9 Hadley Jerry Tripower
10 Smith Brandon VCU Cycling
11 Mitchel Brian Richmond Velo Sport
12 Hendricks Steven Fat Frogs Racing
13 Magnussen David
14 Baumgartner Ed Richmond Velo Sport
15 Skinner Ron Hilton Cycling Club
16 Kunz Brian JRVS/American Pride
17 Benjamin Steve Richmond Velo Sport
18 Zarate Jorge fat frogs racing team
19 Altomare Joe Hilton Cycling Club p/b Walt Racing
20 bozarth anthony hilton cycling club
21 Iannuzzi Mark JRVS/American Pride
22 Wang Junjie Team Tripower
23 Poteat Ivan Carytown Bicycle Company
24 Marks arthur TriPower
25 nalls jeffrey BikeWorks Racing
26 Brookfield Tom Richmond Velo Sport / 3 Sports
27 Moore Andrew William and Mary Cycling Team
28 Kidd Vince JRVS/American Pride
Men Pro 1/2/3 1 king daniel CRC/Wired
2 carithers sean team whole foods
3 Scanlon Bill CRC p/b Wired Bike
4 king mark CRC
5 Fabiato Francois 3sports/RVS
6 greco marc tripower
7 Custer Pete North Tek-Aria
8 huss terry raleigh all stars
9 Clarke David Team Whole Foods
10 Kendall Steven Kelly Benefit Strategies / LSV
11 Evans William BikeWorks Racing
12 Craft Daniel Fat Frogs Racing
13 Mull Stephen Richmond Velo Sport
14 ward paul atlantic velo
15 Warner Mark CRC/Tridim
16 warren ben
17 mullins timothy team whole foods
18 Schaefer James Rostello p/b Fiorucci/Cycor
19 Hosang Michael Tripower
20 Winck Adam CRC
Master 40+/50+/60+ 1 Clarke David Team Whole Foods 50+
2 king mark CRC 50+
3 Warner Mark CRC/Tridim 40+
4 king daniel CRC/Wired 40+
5 mullins timothy Team Whole Foods 40+
6 Fabiato Francois 3sports/RVS 40+
7 Schaefer James Rostello p/b Fiorucci/Cycor 50+
8 Scanlon Bill CRC p/b Wired Bike 40+
9 ward harlan atlantic velo 50+
10 King Wesley Richmond Velo Sport 50+
11 Marks arthur TriPower 40+
12 Netsch Robert TriPower 40+
13 Fletcher Eric CRC/Wired Bike 40+
14 McNelis Edward Richmond Velo Sport 40+
15 Blend Nick Richmond Velo Sport 50+
16 nalls jeffrey BikeWorks Racing 40+
17 sheridan christian CRC 40+
18 brown greg 50+
19 Bond William Fat Frogs Racing 50+
20 Fitzgerald II Thomas Hilton Cycling Club 40+

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sleepy Hole Smackdown. March 12, 2011

Photo by Kevin Horvath
The official beginning of the racing season started on a gorgeous day in Suffolk, VA at the Sleepy Hole Park.  VA BAR racing started today and racers came out to race.  My team, the Virginia Beach Wheelmen, put on this race like we have over the past 4 years.  Beside promoting the race, we had a chance to put 3 racers in the CAT 3 race and 1 into the Pro/1/2/3 race.  Here is how the CAT 3 race went.

Like most of the racing of the day, the CAT 3 started fast.  With 25 starters, all wanting to make an early mark on the season, the pack got stretched out fast.  My teammates stayed near the front and covered attacks.  At one point it really started to stretch out.  An attack was put in by Stephen Mull from Richmond Velo Sport (who is flying through the ranks, he was a CAT 5 last year) matched by Gregory Grosicki from the College of William and Mary.  Just a little behind them were John Gray of the Virginia Beach Wheelmen and Dan Netzer of Celerity Cycling.  Behind them were 3 or 4 more riders just dangling in front of the pack.  With a teammate up the road, myself and especially Mike Tamayo controlled the pack and covered attacks.  This allowed these breaks to get further away.

We chose to reel in the small group just ahead of the pack.  Then, unfortunately, John was hurting up the road and got dropped by Dan.  That put us in a chase mode.  We chased hard for many laps and finally caught Dan, but the other two riders had built a huge lead and looked like they could lap the field.

For the rest of the race, everyone put in little attacks but nothing more got away.  With 5 laps to go I got to the front of the pack in 4th or 5th position with Mike and John on my wheel.  I fought to keep the front to make sure they were protected.  On the final lap we were in good position.  Terry Turner of Carytown had attacked and put himself out on a lone flyer for the line.  I kept moving up and creating holes for Mike and John.  After the 3rd turn we were in good position.  Mike then went around me with John on his wheel and took him around the final turn.  The sprint was on and our leadout worked perfectly.  With the exception of Terry not being caught, John got the sprint.  He ended up 4th overall and Mike was able to hold on for 6th place.  I coasted across the line in 16th.

Overall it was a good race for the team.  I think it is always good to come home with a top 5, especially when your whole team was out all day setting up the course.

Thanks for everyone who came out.  There was some extremely fast racing in all categories out there.  Good job and I am already looking forward to the next one.

Now its time to prepare myself for the Dismal Dash TT tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Snowball Crit #2 March 6, 2011

The weather was not going to be nice for the second Snowball race of the year.  It wasn't going to be too cold, so a little wet roads and rain would simply make it a classic fall race.  For me, racing in the rain is tough.  Drafting is pretty much out, and there are always attacks and the race breaks up quickly.

The CAT 3/4 race started out with a solo flyer who was dangling out front.  He wasn't going anywhere and it was actually nice just to let him hang out for a while.  I think he lasted 3-5 laps.  Then my teammate, John Gray, initiated an attack to bridge to the solo break.  The break was covered and it strung the field out.  Then in corner number 2, someone decided to go straight and caused a crash.  The crash created a little chaos and the pressure was still on at the front.  This allowed John, Tim Pope and another rider to form a gap.  I decided that I could probably bridge up to them without pulling anyone with me.  That is what I did.  One really hard lap effort and I was on the back without bringing anyone with me.  The problem at that point was that I was not feeling comfortable in the turns.  I think I had too much pressure in my tires (110 psi on clinchers).  I was getting a lot of skipping of my tires through the turns.   Every turn I was allowing a bike length gap to form and them having to close it was burning my matches quickly.

I ended up getting dropped from the break leaving my teammate and two other riders.  I went back to the next chase group of 4 riders ( I made number 5).  This group was led by Dan Netzer who was chasing hard.  I had a teammate up the road and just sat on.  At this time I started to get a lot more comfortable on the turns and was able to reduce the skipping of my wheels.  Dan, with not much help, was starting to bring back the break.  I took a couple of rotations to slow them and to break up the momentum.  That solidified the breaks lead and ensured they would be caught.  By the time we came to the finish, the break was 2 riders (John and Tim) and the chase was 4 riders.  I led out the final lap and gave it all I had for a strong finish.  John ended up with a 2nd place finish being out sprinted by Tim and I got 4th.

It was a good race for us, 2 riders in the top 5 is always a good thing.  The rain really started to come down and we both chose not to start the 1/2/3 race.

Photo by Kevin Horvath
Photo by Kevin Horvath

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How Rude: Cyclist Doing it Again

The Virginia Pilot at times has a section titled "how rude!"  Readers send in their stories of how others have mistreated them or just acted like complete asses.  Monday's paper had a little story about cyclists in it.  Here is what is says:
Valerie Jones of Virginia Beach was driving down Atlantic Avenue when she slowed down to let two racing bikers have the full lane where the road narrows (because of construction) to one lane each way at 60th Street.  It was safer, she figured, to let the bikers go ahead of her despite the growing line of traffic behind her.  One biker even waved a "thank you."  When the road switched back to two lanes, Jones eased into the left lane as the bikers stayed in the right.  Suddenly, one biker veered into her lane to turn left without signaling.  She swerved and missed him, but he cussed her out- after she had gone out of her way to be courteous on the roadway.
There are always two sides to every story, but in this case only one was published in the newspaper.  Cycling is supposed to ease our stresses and give us an outlet to vent and release our troubles.  I know if I'm having a bad day, a hard ride eases me and gives me a constructive way to vent.  I know this is true for many people, yet cyclist still hold onto a "road rage" style of anger toward everyone we are supposed to be sharing the road with. 

I'm not saying I'm perfect in this manner.  There are times I get startled by a car passing too close, or blowing their horn and my initial reflex is one of anger.  Just remember the next time you cuss at someone or flip them the finger, your story could end up in the paper and give the rest of us bad names.