Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Coatesville Classic Ominimimiouminonom.

I can't say the word Ominum. Its true, I just can't. I am starting to like them though. 

Simple two stage downtown 6 corner crit, followed by a 11 mile lap 57 mile road race the next morning. For the crit a total of 4 of us made the start. It was about 90 and nice and humid. Delightful
The crit was pretty fast, my job was to cover the moves for Chris. I covered as much as I could early, but I was feeling pretty weak and didn't have much in the tank that day. Manny Caliz went clear and I was in the front. It was my turn to cover. I waiting just a bit too long it proved to bridge. I launched, went clear but didn't have the strength to make it all the way across. I was joined, briefly, by another bridge but I couldn't go with him either, I was blown. It sucked. 
I knew exactly what had happened and what was going to happen... I came back and rejoined the group. I took a few laps to collect myself before resuming my work at the front with Dan. There was no chasing down the break, the gap went from 20 seconds to 40 to 50. Setting up for the last lap Newport was well positioned. It slowed down coming through the start finish and turn one, and I figured Chris was about to be swamped. One Human Zoom rider had attacked but there was hesitation. I launched from way back and took the front, and put the race back at single file. The move kept Chris in position for the sprint. I blew up something terrible, literally drooling on my stem, when my job was done and sat up sometime before turn 3. Dan got caught up in the crash before turn 5, that took more than a few guys down. I deployed the Tokyo Drift move to navigate around it all. Chris was able to take 9th overall and earned some GC points. I took 20th and took the last GC point available. 

The next morning we had a 5 lap 57 mile course with mile long shallow climb. The course was amazing, very scenic and very fast. Since Chris was so high in GC we all had his interests in mind. The finish of the race (uphill) suited me, so I also got the nod. 
We spread the work around early on. There weren't an overwhelming amount of attacks but we had a man on everything. Everyone took their turn covering, but Geoff was all over the majority of the early moves, allowing Newport and myself to be more selective in what we covered. I was feeling lousy at this point and was having trouble even covering attacks. Without the guys there to do the work I would have been toast. 
Matt went out on his own for a bit. There was one decent attempt to bridge to him, but it was shut down pretty quickly. Geoff was there to follow the wheels of the chasers. Matt eventually came back so Dan and Jamie took over for a bit, getting mixed up in a few moves an attempts, again allowing Newport and I chose when we needed to place out efforts.
One small incident of drama: I managed to destroy my beloved Rev 50x. I moon crater of a hole and couldn't unweight the rear wheel enough to avoid the square edge. The tire stayed inflated but the rip developed a 1 cm sized crack after whacking the edge of the hole at 30mph. The guys at Rev are already taking care of it... good company.
Entering the last lap I slotted in behind Chris to take a feed from Lauren as I was completely out of water. I missed the bottle handup, but Chris had a little bit left, so he gave me his bottle. Lauren meanwhile was in the feed zone wondering if she needed to be dialing the divorce lawyer.
Going into the last lap we had a 2 man break up the road at 30 seconds.After the covered bridge it slowed a bit, all of the players were moving up and getting ready for the last climb. I was in danger of losing my position near the front as the swamp was seeming likely. Right then Joey attacks hard. He got clear and there was not an immediate reaction. Shirks had 3 men at the front, waited a few seconds for their 4th. I sat right behind them and all I heard was "He's here, CHASE!" Newport was right behind me. We both latched onto the Shirks train and the group went single file. Joey made them work and it took a little while for them to bring him back. Joey's move kept Chris and I up front and was in my mind, perfect. The move speed up the group and brought the 2 men off the front way back.  We hit the base of the climb and I well to be honest, still felt like shit. I lined up 10th wheel and just tried to hang on and not get split off.
About half way up it slowed and I felt myself getting swamped. I launched as a number of riders pulled even and moved up to maybe 7th. At the top of the hill we made a sharp left, where the inside was banked, I hit the inside line hard and made a few passes while riders went wide to take the shallow line. I started to sprint now with 200 m to go. I caught the last member of the break and now only had 3 wheels in front of me. I caught one more before the line and ended 3rd. Half way up the climb, I though I was blown, I was pretty surprised I found it in me to get up there. The race was a fine example of selfless teamwork yielding a result. I finished up 6th on GC and collected some much needed upgrade points from the road race, getting me dangerously close to Cat 2. 

Speaking of upgrades. Somebody's not going to be allowed to race cat 4 anymore if she keeps riding in the big ring up climbs,
Thanks to the City of Coatesville, who really came out to support the race. It was a blast flying around the crit course with Joe Jefferson on the Mic, with the crowd in the background. 

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