Monday, November 22, 2010

MAC Whitmore's Super Cup in Strong Island. Day 1 & 2

Day 1:
When I last wrote about Southampton Nassau County being the venue of the final two MAC races I was super bummed. I won't rehash my thoughts on the matter, but the short end of it equated to me being off in my analysis. The MAC series could have been held in a corn field in Nebraska and I think we still would have had fun.
Although no corn was present, the landscape of the course at LI was flat. You expect that from Long Island so it really wasn't a shock, but it does make for a very roadie like race with drafting and tactics. There was one really different staircase that we will get to later.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/claytex/sets/72157625438235220/

Day 1 setup much like Beacon and Nittany set up. A group of 5 to 10 of us settled in and started taking turns drilling it. I had great legs and was sitting in a lot doing my best Craig Lebair impression, in honor of his visit to the race (Craig is currently on IR with a broken collar bone) To imitate Craig I was sucking as much wheel as I could. He's better at it than I am though, must be the lower center of gravity. I had almost totally blown up once following Donny's attack on the stairs at 3:40. There is a great video of him going all Sonic the Hedgehog on it.


We went back and forth until the last lap and thats when I tried to escape. The laps were stupidly fast, I knew I could throw down for the duration. I launched the first time right after the start finish road and got a small gap on Steve. He would pull it back a little and I would surge again. This continued for 5 minutes: Launch, Die a small death, Look over shoulder, See orange leaders jersey chasing hard.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/claytex/sets/72157625438235220/

Inside of my head my inner monologue sounded like this: "I'm going to win, I'm going to win, ouch, !@#$ he's still there, GO, I am going to win, OUCH, I am going to win, !@#$ still there..." 
The last minute of the race was a long straight off camber into the barriers, turning back up to the road for the final 100m sprint to the line. I knew the remount and setup for the barriers would be crucial so I took an extra second to setup, thinking Steve would not try to pass on the off camber. Well he did. I knew instantly I had screwed myself. My HR at this point was 194 so I guess I wasn't thinking clearly. We got over the barriers and remounted. I needed a bike length in 100m to win. In the longest 100m sprint ever, I got all but about a foot or so back. Steve got the win at the line. 
Photo Credit: Marco Quezada
Giving credit where it's due, it was a sweet move he made on the off camber, I could have blocked it or just put a little more pressure on him there, but I obviously didn't. As previously stated thinking at max HR is difficult. Ouch. With his win Steve pretty much wrapped up the MAC overall, while I cemented 2nd place for the series. 
Lauren raced before my race and did great. She was slaying some of the off cambers and really riding well. I think she was heckled quite a bit for smiling too much though. Nemeisiesisis were slayed, no crashes, no bad luck... just a lot of fun. She did really well on day 2... the changes in her racing across the season are so fun to watch. She progressed from just riding, being really cautious and not implementing too much strategy to attacking, bridging, improving cornering technique, and learning pacing, as well as crashing, blowing up, and bleeding. All fun.
After the race we drank recovery drinks, the real kind and the beer kind, scavenged for food. Most of the foraging was due to the fact that the law came in and busted up the waffle truck's party due to lack of permits. LAME. I would have given an appendage for a waffle at that point in time, especially since I had sampled them at last years SH race and they were delicious. After we got done heckling people and recovering we retreated back to the hotel and setup for dinner. Somehow we managed to get a table for 18 at The Cheesecake Factory. More impressive is that we walked there (an entire MILE through big lot store hell) and did not die, or lose anyone. Diner was great, as true bicycle racers with minor body issues, we spent most of the time marveling over the calorie counts (2730 for a shrimp and pasta dish and 1000 to 1800 for a single slice of cheesecake!) 
After we got back to the hotel we decided to make use of the pool... to uh, recover. None of us had bathing suits though so we elected to swim in skin suits and bib shorts. No there are no pictures. We burned the cameras. 


Day 2


The course setup was same deal, but backwards. Amazingly it was much more technical backwards and a lot more fun. I was really sore warming up. I recovered fine despite the activities the night before, I just went really deep on day 1. There were also some pretty fast dudes lining up that didnt race (at least at Whitmore) on day 1. Those are my only excuses. The rest was on me. Thomas Mackay smoked it off the start and strung it out "Like Lindsay Lohan" as our awesome announcer Joe would say. I was in the lead group and then I got tired. Pretty much that's what happened. Steve, Donny, Fred, and a Rockstar Games guy got away from me. I felt like I was moving pretty well but the barriers and remounts were killing me. The course was so fast and fun though I didn't care. I was having a freakin' blast. Ok so I cared because it hurt, a lot, but it was still strangely enjoyable.





On a side note. Everyone knows I carry my bike kind of... well different when I run with it. I don't know how it got to be this way, but I just cant comfortably shoulder it. Somebody likened my technique to that of a javelin thrower, and while hilarious, its accurate. 



On the last lap I had maybe 4 people on my wheel ready to fly around me and murder me. I attacked, trying to bridge up to Tom, but all I really did was nearly get pipped by Mark Flis at the line. Yikes, close race.



After he race the only food available was redbull and beer, so we made unintentional Four Loko, and heckled anything still pedaling. The group of people I raced with this year really made the year. Trading elbows, chops, surges, slides, and dirt with each other twice a weekend for a few months never got old and always proved to be a little different every weekend. I beat Donny, Steve, Fred, Gerry, Tom, at least once, and they all beat me, at least once (in many cases way more than once). Add in the wild cards, Mark, Brendan, my own teammates, random dudes, and the races were always a big guess at who would walk away the victor. My point is the racing was always fun, and really really difficult.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/claytex/sets/72157625438235220/
Greg on his way to a top 25 finish.

1 comment:

Willem said...

Hey festa, its Willem.

Turns out some "assholes" stole the name of our race and are doing it on the same day, pretty much in the same location

http://xmascrossandmtbfollies.blogspot.com/

chck out the site regularly for further details.
from what I hear these guys are into planning a race the is "fun"