Sunday, August 15, 2010

So uh, yeah, The Tour de Millersburg... I don't recall that one.

If there was ever a race to file under "Pretending it didn't happen" this would be it. 2 days, 3 races, 2 bad results and one DNS. Heres the breakdown.
Time Trial. Went out a tad too conservatively, felt ok but didnt get the result I was looking for. Joey rode pretty well and finished just outside the top 20 and just outside the points. The TT course was pretty nice, flat with some nasty head wind on the way back. TT's are a bit weird, but my coach is the man for letting me borrow his sweet TT bike.

Crit. We both went into the crit with higher hopes. I had a 4th row start, which was about the middle. not great but not amazing. When the gun went off I started off and the race accelerated forward. A rider in front of me couldn't get in his pedal and instead of trying to accelerate and get in it he just sat up and stopped pedaling. I felt like I was trapped in the middle lane on the highway behind a 80 yr old woman in a Caddy while cars in the adjacent lanes fly by, moving too quickly to allow you to get around. All it took was a few seconds of hesitation for me to be in the last 10 riders. I tried my best not to panic. I told myself I could move up and if I advanced 10 places every lap I would be ok by the time the race was 1/2 completed. By lap 4 I was moving up steadily, slowly but steadily. The pace was borderline insane and the whole race was strung out going up the climb. A rider about 10 wheels ahead of me let a gap form and suddenly I was 25 feet off the back of the race. I and another rider saw the gap forming and we immediately tried to chase back on but the pace proved too quick to catch. We were dropped... 10 minutes into the race. I proceeded to chase with one other Coppi rider while others sat in mostly. We picked off a good number of others who had been dropped, dodged a large crash in turn 1, and ultimately were pulled with 2 laps to go. Only 30 or so people finished on the lead lap out of 100. Joey was one of those people and took 18th in the sprint, scoring some points and putting him in top 20 on GC. Our other teammate Dave had some bad luck too with a sticky rear brake caliper.
Heres a good shot of me trying to be tiny.

Road Race. We woke up Sunday to rain. Joey and I rolled around warming up talking strategy and questioning how safe it was going to be on a relatively flat and tight course. We were parked a few cars away from one another on a side street off the start area. I had rolled back to my car with 15 or so minutes to go to finish my prep and to grab fresh bottles. I looked up and say an EMT truck with its lights on and what appeared to be somebody in the road. It looked like somebody had fallen. I had to roll up that direction to check with a friend about a wheel I had lent him. As I approached the intersection, I saw the colors of the riders kit and got a little worried. I looked to the right and saw a black bike, I took a sigh of relief as Joey's bike is the whitest euro looking bike you have ever seen. I rolled a little closer and then I saw the ResolveStar logo on the down riders shorts. It was Joey, laying in the middle of the road face down surrounded by EMTs. He had blood all round his head and wasnt moving a lot except for a tapping of his foot. I asked if he was ok, he mumbled something. It became clear he had hit a car. I took off sprinting back towards the cars so I could have Lauren contact Joey's wife. I returned to Joey who still had not moved. There was an ambulance now and I met the driver of the pickup. He was actually pretty worried for Joey and felt bad about what had happened. I dont know exactly how it went down but Joey and the truck obviously hit and his head took out the trucks mirror. They loaded him up and took him to Hershey Med Center. He looked ok when they rolled him over and he asked if I knew where he had hid his car keys so I could take care of his car and bike. I couldn't believe how calm he was. I cry like a little girl when I scape a knee. Jens Voigt would have been impressed.
My race was 5 minutes away, I was relatively freaked out and had a lot of other things to take care of besides being pack fodder. I decided to DNS, and change off. After driving up to the hospital to meet Jen and drop off the car, we learned Joey was ok, and his doctor was a cyclist for QCW.
Damages. Fractured skull, jaw and ear for Joey. His bike will likely need some love too, but I dont think it was a total loss.

Lessons. Wear your effing helmet. Joey had his on and it likely saved his life. Never been more happy to have Rudy as out helmet sponsor this season...

7 comments:

Marten said...

Wow, glad to hear that he was alright, but sounds serious. Did you hear about the 3/4 carnage in the RR?

Randy said...

Did your team mate get released from Hershey yet? I was one of the EMT's that transported him. I would like to follow up with the rest of my crew.

Mike said...

Randy, He was released yesterday. Thank you and to your crew for taking care of him.

Randy said...

Thanks Mike for the update. I will pass this on to the rest of the crew. We hope to see you guys here next year.

Drew Armstrong said...

Hey Mike -- this is Drew Armstrong, Chris Newport's friend from down in DC (I've ridden w/ you guys a time or two in PA). Sorry to hear about Joey, I hope he heals up quickly. You guys have had some weird luck up there, it sounds like--hopefully it's getting better.

Joey said...

Randy, I wanted to thank you and your team for the quick response from your and your team. I have a serious head injury and will be recovering for the next 6 months but I hope to be back next year.

Sean said...

Holy S**T! Glad to hear Joey is out and recovering. Never good to have head and mirror collide.