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.
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