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 05/06/07 Colts Neck Race Report

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

PostSubject: 05/06/07 Colts Neck Race Report   Tue May 08, 2007 11:32 pm

From Ed

First a quick congratulations to Caleb,he nailed a nice 6th place out in Lancaster yesterday.He was an unknown quantity coming into the season, so far a 6th at Branchbrook, 9th at the Cherry Blossom, and an insane ride at Branchbrook where he drove the pace the whole day, attacked off "the cone" and blew before the finish; he's a very solid rider/racer.

Colts Neck is a pretty neat course. It's basically a 4 mile rectangle with a coupla small kickers and one very nasty, short, steep left-hander about a mile from the finish; steep enough to put most guys into the small ring. It's a little tricky 'cause there's a 35 mph approach that throws ya into it. If you ain't in the right gear; you may be unclippin' and steppin' off. Today we had a nasty headwind to contend with on one of the long, open straights.

I was really gettin' a kick out of all the guys at the line talkin' up their game plan. They were all gonna get Ryan's wheel and ride it in to victory (maybe 2nd?). Ya, like we haven't been chasin' his ass all winter. All I could think was "have fun guys".

Our only rider in the cat 5 was Big Dan; they had a closed-out field of 50. We got there at the end of the 5 race; apparently the wind and climbs shredded the cat 5 field. Dan made all the right moves and finished with a nice 11th place; coming in with the front bunch. Well Done! Also in cat 5 were Peddler Shop riders Nick Piccone, Ted Murphy, and Wayne Povey. Wayne was the strongest with an excellent 6th place with Ted and Nick in the main bunch at 25th and 30th.

We were stacked in the cat 4 with me, Richie, Ryan, Dave, Chris, and Stevie Wu. The field was well over 80, there were 70 on pre-reg and the nice weather surely drew out more people.All the regulars were out; 3D with Todd Lippin, Marc Costa, Angel Martinez, and a bunch of other guys. John Smertneck , the lone soldier from Atlantic; Chris Labreuq (very strong from Norwood), Jeff from Beacon, Mike and Mark from Colavita ( two more old guys, but younger than me.What's that make me?). It was gonna be fast. And it was gonna hurt. My plan was simple, line up on the front row, stay in the top 20-30, and don't get dropped! Not exactly the "Lance" approach to racin', but it is what it is.

Prior to the race Steve was lookin' for help applying his chamois cream. I told him I'd rub some Freddy's Choice on his legs; but I drew the line at rubbin' his balls. In fact, on second thought, I ain't rubbin' his legs either.

So the whistle blows and off we go. Nice brisk tail wind on the first straight, then a hard right into a dead-on head wind. Perfect! This is just what I needed to slow down all the hammer heads at the front. First lap they pounded into it pretty good, but I had no trouble holding position. All the boys were up front. The road turns into a drop away lefthander, slightly up hill, then flys downhill past a reservoir and a short kicker. At this point the road surface turns to shit, the only safe path is right on the yellow line. Over a creek, another short climb, and another drop away lefty. Now it's downhill with a tailwind doin' 30-35 mph for about a mile. Then, the "signature" climb of the race. Slightly uphill about 50m, then a hard left, brutal straight -up 100m climb and on to the start/finish. if you ain't in the right gear, you'll lose 30 places here.

Today I managed to hit the climb in the right gear every lap and get up and over in good shape. The "right gear" for me is SMALL, 39 X 21. You may laugh if you want, Richie wasn't laughin' on the first lap when I spun past him like he was standin' still. A High Gear rider got caught in the wrong gear, came to a stop, and damn near took out half the field. By the next lap, 3/4 of the field was droppin' into the small ring.

So we were all sittin' good, at some point Steve tells me (after the race he was screamin' at me to let him in after he dropped off a stint at the front bustin' the wind. Sorry, I was probably in full "survival" mode by that time and didn't hear ya. A solo rider broke away on the 3rd (of 5)laps and put some serious time on the field.Ryan held tight, he's not just strong, he's got some very good race sense. I'm thinkin' with eight miles to go and the nasty wind; no way this guy survives. After hangin' out there for 4 or 5 miles (hell of a break), Ryan started to smell blood. The pack was startin' to close it down. On the last lap (I think), when we turned into the wind, Ryan made the "A" move and ran the guy down. They worked together a bit, then the guy attacked Ryan ( my man's got some balls, gotta give him his due). Ryan let him hang a bit, waited for him to fade, ran 'em down, and put 'em out of his misery. I'm not sure what happened to the 80 or so other guys that planned on holdin' Ryan's wheel to the finish; sure sounded good.

As for the rest of us, at some point Chris and Steve both dumped their chain and had to get off and re-mount. Race over. Steve continues with a run of bad luck; he's in shape, his time will come (a win at Marlton would look good; particularly with Ryan out of town). Dave flatted with a 1/2 lap to go on the nasty back stretch, he was lookin' strong for a top twenty (top ten?). That left me and Richie. As we charged down the hill for the last time, the pack was down to about 40 guys. We got up and over with the bunch, Richie hung on and came in around 20th, I couldn't keep up with the final attacks and came in 100m off the back of the front bunch. Story of my life, but over-all a reasonable effort.

Me and Bob Jaggard started the 45+. The key word is "started". I knew I was blown from the cat 4, I figured if it went out slow, maybe I could hang on. Ya, right; like that was gonna happen. I made it to the back stretch and got smoked on the first kicker; I had NOTHING!. Bob hung to the half way point 'till they blew him up. The pace looked vicious, half the field got shelled. Mark Cowin got held up and missed the start of the 45+. In cat 3 Steve Smith finished with the pack and Mark hung 'till about the one lap to go point.

So another up and down weekend. Ryan (1st), Caleb (6th), Dan (11th), and Richie (20th)got us some placings. Three of our front runners (Steve, Dave, and Chris) dropped on mechanicals; and I managed to hang with another fast cat 4 field and roll-in at the back. No crashes this weekend, nobody hurt; we'll be back!

Next up Prospect Cat 4 on 5/12. So far it's me (big shock), Ryan, Richie, and Steve. Ryan H. may due the 35+ and Caleb may do the cat 5. Any other takers? Then Marlton on 5/20. Now that's my kind of race, flat and fast; I could really go for a top ten there. We'll see.

So that's it for this week, your "slightly off the back, but hangin' tough"

The Captain
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