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 04/22/07 Lower Providence

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

PostSubject: 04/22/07 Lower Providence   Tue May 08, 2007 11:08 pm

From Ed

I'm usually pretty relaxed before races, I do enough of them to where I don't get too nervous. But today I had that queasy feeling in my gut. Kinda like back when you were a kid and you were sittin' there in the Principal's Office waitin' your turn to get your butt reamed. I knew I was in for a spankin' today and those Pa Cat 4's did not disappoint. We had Joey D., Bob Jaggard, and Dan Hauber scheduled for the cat 5,me, Dirty Dave, and Richie for the cat 4, and me, Richie, Steve Smith, Chris Fritz, and Stevie Wu for the 3/4. With Ryan down nursing a bum ankle from last nights dog bite (Ryan seems to be doing okay, but the dog picked up some kinda nasty disease) we were in for a whuppin' in the 3/4; we are not at the level of those Pa cat 3's (yet). Steve Smith had the brilliant idea that we should try and "cover all the breaks"; but that can be hard to do when you're sittin' on the back prayin' for a heart attack or something so you can be put out of your mystery.

But I digress. You'll have to excuse my rambling, I'm still in some sort of anaerobic shock. Let me get back to the proper chronology of what was a rough day.

In the Cat 5A race it was Big Dan and Joey D. I thought they would have a good shot. Joe was at the front for much of the race and Dan was sitting mid-pack. The pace was rather docile at first but seemed to pick up with 3 or 4 laps to go.With two to go there was a crash on the back stretch and both Dan and Joe got tangled up in it. No injuries, bikes okay, no result. Oh well. Joe was also signed up for the Cat 5B race with Bob Jaggard. The field was smaller, probably 30 guys. Bob was doing quite a bit of work, he was on the front for 3 or 4 of the first 10 laps. With 5 to go a break got away. Now breaks don't work too often in cat 5, but this one had a chance. There was a rider from Guy's Bikes out there and his team did exactly what they were supposed to do. There were 6 or 7 of them and they sat on the front. Bob and Joe both took turns trying to drive the pace and pull it back; but when they pulled off, Guy's would back it down. Nobody else would come through. Joey and Bob finished in the bunch, obviously exhausted from the effort.So a valiant attempt, but to no avail.

After the junior and women's races, we were up for the Cat 4. With over 80 starters on the line, perfect weather, and a freshly paved course it looked to be a fast one. We were scheduled for 20 laps. The whistle blew and the hammer dropped. Just like yesterday at Branchbrook it went straight to 30 mph right from the gun. I was hittin' 28-32 on the straights and it never dropped much below 25 mph for the first five laps. Guys were poppin' off the back like firecrackers and I was hangin' on for all I was worth. Dirty and Richie were right there with me, it was brutal. I finally settled into "criterium mode", focusing on making as much time as I could in the corners and pedaling for all I was worth in the straights. It did settle down to where the attacks were not quite as hard or long (hmm... that sounds almost pornographic!) and I started to think I would at least finish. With five to go I was starting to feel okay(I saw the paramedics but the paddles away, they were obviously concerned). The pace settled into that "were all gettin' ready for a massive field sprint" mode and I was waitin' for the end. We came around the last corner; Dirty had enough left to run with the front bunch coming in 22nd, Richie and I brought up the rear at 32nd and 40th. Certainly not a stellar performance, but better than the 40+ guys who finished behind me or got blown off the back.

Next up was the 3/4. Stevie Wu, Steve Smith, and Chris Fritz (just making it on time after wrangling with his mapquest directions) were fresh and ready to go. Me and Richie were neither fresh nor ready for anything more that a body bag. I changed numbers, popped a gel, threw up the gel, got a fresh water bottle and went to the line. I tried to clip in and noticed my cleat spinning freely, hanging by one screw. Day over. Probably a sign from God that starting that second race was not a brilliant idea. So I sit back and relax and watch the boys go to work. The 3/4's had 120 riders and 25 laps ahead of them. The pace was blistering, a guy from WBI was forcing the pace for the first five laps and was active at the front all day. Our guys were hangin' on in the rear third of the bunch. The pace would ramp up and it would go double file and string way out.I was thinking about Steve S. tellin' the guys to "cover the breaks". It's a little hard to do from 80th wheel. Like I've said many times before, we're not ready for those Pa cat 3's yet.Ryan can handle 'em and Steve Moore isn't too far behind, the rest of us have some work to do.

A coupla breaks went, one had promise with three guys including a rider from Adler; but they eventually got swept up. It's hard to stay away when the pack is raging up from behind at 30 mph. At twenty laps, Richie fell off and called it a day. Of course this worked out rather well for him. While we were standing there watching the race a cute little rider from Skylands was stretching out for the Women's pro race. Richie, always the consummate professional, decided she needed some help with her "stretching technique" and decided to lend her a hand ( so to speak). Since this a family oriented report, I'll spare everyone the details (about now Richie is pounding the "delete" key);let's just say she looked extremely "relaxed" by the time he was "finished". I think it was the sexy white crust around Richie's mouth that she found really attractive.

But back to the race. Guys were falling off at a rate of 4 or 5 per lap. Our boys were hanging tough. Steve got stuck behind a crash ( seems to be his story line this year), took a free lap to get his chain on and get back in the mix. The final sprint was ferocious(although Ryan non-chalantly told me he could beat 'em; which I don't doubt). Half the field was dropped as only about 60 guys came in; and Chris, Steve Smith, and Steve Moore came in with the main field.

So a rough day, but we survived. The down side is we really weren't too competitive today. The up side is these are the fastest guys we're ever gonna see and we ran with the field, keeping in mind half the guys who started today got dropped. Our time will come.

Jason is doing the pro 1/2/3 later today, Eric Wally is up in Rahway, and Mark Cowin is icing a swollen knee. Ryan will hopefully have a quick recovery from his dog bite. And I think I dropped "the lump" for good today, the swelling is down to a minimum.

Next up Prospect Park 4/29.

Your "from the saddle and finally off life support reporter"

Captain Ed
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