Monday, May 3, 2010

Turkey Hill 3/4 and MASS Granogue

Racing for Ice Cream:
Philadelphia Ciclismo lined up with a strong team for the Turkey Hill Country Classic.
We we set to do 9 Laps and take 3 trips up the famed Gamber Wall on the last 3. This course was a blast, there was no yellow line rule and we were ripping it. I think we averaged 24 mph for the 57 mile race. Of the 100 starters less than 50 finished. I think the pace compounded with the heat, and climbing ripped the field apart a bit.
A break went of the front somewhere around lap 3. It didn't look like much at the time, and visible up the road seemed pretty unorganized. Well it organized and the break took up to a 1:20 advantage. Some pretty strong guys even got dropped out of the break. We chased a bit but knew we were not going to be able to real the leaders back in. I tried the crazy slightly over 1k to go attack and blew up like balloon. Despite our lack of results it was a fun day. The racing was class, the course was fun, and Turkey Hill was handing out ice cream and cold drinks to everyone there.
Here is a shot of the "Wall" on the last lap, thats not 100 riders anymore.
Racing for Cold Hard Cash:
Sunday I headed down to the Dupont Estate in Granogue, DE to do the MASS race. I haven't raced my mountain bike at all this year (last one was Bear Creek in September). I only had a few goals in mind, one was finish, two was regain some of the confidence from not riding at race speed very much. I didn't quite know how I was going to feel waking up after 2.5 hours of road racing the day before but I felt awesome.
The first mtb race of the year was not without some follies however. Warming up I entered a very steep drop way too fast. I stayed up, partially by not panicking and partially by praying to god as I locked both brakes in an effort to slow down so I didn't endo off a small cliff.
After the warm up we staged where I met the promoter and purveyor of all things fat : Fat Marc. His crew put on a great race, so I will take a break from this race report to thank them.
Back to staging. I got a front row start (sweet). Mr Dupont rolled through our staging area in his sweet 1930s car that looked something like Mr Burns from the Simpsons would drive. Unfortunately this meant the tape about a 1/4 mile up the road that had been blocking the wrong way had been taken down. Yeah you can see where this is going. For the first time ever in my PRO mtb racing  loose string of races where I sometimes make some money in career I got the holeshot and was primed to make it to the singletrack in first place.
The singletrack was right, I went left following the road. I dropped from 1st to DFL in 3 seconds. Potentially the least PRO thing I have ever done. This is about as PRO as going to the podium in sweat pants. (common Floyd)
I stayed calm and rode within the envelope and trying to pass some of the big bunched of riders in the wider sections. The course was really really fun. It had tons of flow to it and some nice climbs. The rocky climb in the back of the lap was a tough one, I only cleaned it on the last lap. I lit up the afterburners on the last lap and moved from 11th or 12 to finish the day 7th overall. The heat was really getting to people and without it it might have been harder to move up as I did. Flapping euro base layer/ jersey combo equates to PRO.
Keeping with the theme of an awesome race. The event raised four thousand American dollars for HERA which is a foundation that raises money to fight ovarian cancer. Also a big thanks to all of the course marshals out on the lap that were there to keep us safe/spray us with cold water. It even only took me two laps to realize the guy yelling "G Festa" was teammate Jason E. Lauren actually won something in a raffle ( and completed flawless bottle hand ups all weekend) After we had some good beers with The Freyman's and some of their teammates to complete the weekend. 

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