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 04/21/07 Branchbrook

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Number of posts : 132
Localisation : Berlin, NJ
Registration date : 2006-10-27

PostSubject: 04/21/07 Branchbrook   Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:05 am

Finally, the best weather of the year for racin', what a day! This had the makin's for some fast races and we were not disappointed. Good weather, big fields, some decent prize money, and a very fast course resulted in some extremely quick lap times. Ray Smith was slow getting his lap top goin' and by the time I got my numbers pinned up they were callin' the 4/5's to the line. Looked like 65-70 guys; we had Ryan, Stevie Wu, Dirty Dave, Caleb, Otto, Joey D., and myself ( is that everyone?). At 7:00 am the whistle blew and we were GONE! The course is a beautiful 2 mile loop around a lake with only one actual turn, a left-hander. This is bicycle Nascar at it's finest. If you're into hills, tough technical sections, and courses that reward an all-around rider; stay home. This is pure speed, it's all top end. In true Cat 4 tradition these guys went balls-out from the bell. We were doin' 26-30 for pretty much the first four laps. Things started to settle down a little, but it would only last for a minute until the attacks started again. Westwood Velo was probably the most active team, they did a lot of work and sent a few guys off the front. Steve gave it few shots as did Caleb. The rest of us were pretty much in survival mode. I was actually feelin' great; but it took so much effort to move up in the pack that by the time I got into the top ten I forgot what it was I had planned on doin' and sat back in to rest. There may have been a minor crash or two, but I didn't see 'em; and the ambulance stayed put ( generally a good sign). We were scheduled for ten laps, 20 miles; things settled down with three laps to go as everybody started thinkin' about the sprint. On the last lap Ryan was sittin' pretty in the top ten. At some point Steve ran interference, not really a lead-out, and pretty much helped Ryan secure his position for the sprint. With 400 to go Ryan moved up, kicked it out and was gone with one guy on his wheel. With 100m to go he took it up a notch and blew away to win number 8 ; making him a perfect 8 for 8 on the season. Caleb rode real well breaking into the top ten with 9th. Dave got jobbed, he came across right behind Caleb and was posted at 32nd, I was several rows back at 27th; Dave easily made the top 15. Steve sat up after doin' his job for Ryan and coasted in, no need to get hurt (he's had two crashes this season) once you're out of the top ten. Me? I'll fight tooth and nail for 27th! It's a numbers game for me, the only way I'll ever make cat 3 is the old "20 field finishes in packs of 50 or more" rule. I ain't gonna do it on points or " ten top tens". So I got about ten down and ten to go. We ended up with a 26.2 mph average.

I was all set to do the 45+ with Mark and as I got a fresh water bottle and had Otto ( who finished safely in the pack in the 4/5, he's almost back)and Caleb unpinning my 4/5 number to expose my 45+ number I watched the pack roll away. Great. As the peleton came around I jumped on the back, fortunately the pack had slowed and I got on with-out any trouble. These back to back races are a bitch! Anyway the 45+ field was a hair slower than the 4/5's. Mark was active at the front for most of the race, I was content to just rack up some more race-training miles ( part of the patented Ed Peterson "Race Your Way Into Shape" method of training, or maybe over-training). There were several half-hearted break-away attempts, but this course is simply too fast for anything to have much of a chance of sticking. So as we jammed out of the last corner with about 3/4 mile to go I miraculously slid into a seam up into the top ten. I was hoping Mark would get behind me so I could give him some sort of half-ass lead-out, but he looped around and went up the inside and took an early flyer. I thought he went way too early (he did) and as the pack came around him a guy from Somerset tried to squeeze past on the inside. It didn't look like there was enough room (there wasn't). He went down and took out a coupla other guys.The first crash got me into the top twenty, the second crash got me into the top fifteen, I'm thinkin' "one more crash and I gotta top ten!". Pretty sick, I guess; but that's racin'. So I come across in 17th, Mark comes through behind me but unscathed and we call it a day. Other than Ryan gettin' another win (yawn) a pretty pedestrian outing; but nobody got hurt; so that counts for something.

Tomorrow will probably be the last race for "the lump"; it's shrinkin' pretty fast. The lump did a few pulls today and had a solid finish in 28th place.We'll see if he feels like doin' any work tomorrow. In other action the Peddler Shop boys had a strong turn-out in the 35+ field. Looked like Big Shawn got a solid top ten, maybe as high as sixth. I'm sure they pulled down a bunch of Cup points with several guys in the top twenty. We watched the 1/2/3's and all I can say is them guys were absolutely shreddin' that course. We clocked them at a hair over 4 minutes per lap which puts it right at 30 mph and it never let up. All the big guns were there; Champion,Empire, Mengoni, Rite Aid, Target. There was big prize money and them guys were hungry! We left early, you'll have to check the results on bikereg.

So that's it for today, tomorrow Lower Providence. They got 600+ on pre-reg, it's gonna be another fast one. I'm doin' the 4 and the 3/4. It'll be pure one lap at a time survival mode in the 3/4 I'm sure. I'm always looking for a 1:1 or better lap to dollar ratio on my second race. So if I pay an extra $15.00; then 15 laps is a good day.We'll see. It's got "screw me" written all over it.

Good luck To Eric Wally and anyone else heading up for Rahway tomorrow. Drop me a line with your results.

Your "from the saddle" reporter, remember, this is your only source for live local race coverage!

Mr. Ed
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04/21/07 Branchbrook
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