From The Captain
Ah, where to begin. First, a coupla quickee's. How 'bout the weather? All week long the "forecasters" have been callin' for rain and we ended up with two damn near perfect days! Gotta love it. And how 'bout Caleb, winnin' the Cat 5 out in Union Grove? Well Done! Those Lancaster races are know joke, good job Caleb.
And a nice milestone today, I did race number 99 and 100 today, with this being my fourth season. I'm not particularly fast, but I am active (and durable)! I had assumed that the promoter had a celebration of some sort planned for my 100th race, maybe some fireworks or a coupla podium girls for a nice double kiss on the cheek like they do at the big pro races; but nuthin'! So I celebrated on the way home with a WaWa coffee (12 oz, 3 sugars, one cream) and a creme donut (sorry Ryan, couldn't resist). And if anybody's countin' that's (17) on the season(ain't I a stud?).
Also, the natural order of things in the universe has been restored(with one exception) as Dirty Dave, Stevie Wu, and Crazy Rich soundly thrashed me in the Cat 4. Only Jonathan fell victim to my vicious sprint finishing 24th to my 23rd. Otto came in at the back of the pack but managed to pull away from me in the 35+, thereby redeeming himself. Of course if you guys can be proud of yourself for beatin' up on a 50+ old man with a bad case of sciatica who can barely walk, then more power to ya.
So first up were the 45+ er's with Dennis, Mark, and Bob Jansen(did I miss anyone?). This race looked like it was stacked; in fact all the races were fast today. They went out at what looked like a brutal pace, a lotta guys got shelled early on. Mark was active as was Bob. I saw Bob at the front several times closing gaps and attempting to chase down the break. In the end it was Chuck Gross and Chuck Carnila ( probably the fastest 50+ racer on the planet) of Mambos pulling away and holding off the field with Carnila being the fastest of the two Chucks.Mark finished in the field and Dennis, who managed to hold a nice position in the top 15 for the last 10 laps, grabbed a nice 14th with Bob coming in at the back of the pack, obviously spent from his chasing efforts.
In Cat 3 it was Anthony and Mark, rolling right in from the 45+. Anthony rode strong and held a solid position at the front of the field. Mark was active, I saw him in several small breaks. Ultimately it was Mark with another field finish and Anthony somewhere in the top (20). The real star was Keith Abruzzee(sorry, I butchered the spelling)of the Peddler Shop. He bolted out of the pack and nailed the win by 50m. He gets most improved rider since last season when he was really just a mid-pack guy. He dropped 30 or 40 pounds and has looked strong all year. Well done.
Now for the Cat 4's. We had the field stacked with me, Dirty Dave, Steve, Jonathan, Joey D., Otto, Ruben, Richie, and Big Dan.Sorry if I missed anybody. It was a big field with 60 - 70 starters and a coupla strong eams; Guys racing, Somerset, Norwood. Looked to be a great race. We were set for 20 laps, the whistle blew, and we were gone. Half a lap in Richie goes off the front and hangs out there for a coupla minutes.Big Dan took a shot as did Steve. The race fell into a pattern; we would fly down the straight past the start finish with a tail wind, turn into the wind and slow down, hit the hill and attack, then fly down the front straight again. Somewhere around the 5th lap Joey D. went on a "suicide break". He loves to go off the front, but I knew there was absolutely no way he could hope to stick it for another 15 laps ( more on that later). It looked like the pack was gonna let him hang out there to die. We did a reasonably decent job of blocking and team riding today, I made two forays to the front to try and muck things up and at one point I saw four pro pedals jerseys across the front. Meantime, Joeys' still poundin' away out there.With about five to go, four guys left the field and bridged up to him.Hmm.... an interesting development. This would give Joe a real chance to stay away. And that's exactly what happened(shows ya how much I know about racin'). We continued to block as best we could, the break stayed away, and Joey dusted 'em in the sprint; which was particularly impressive given the fact he'd been workin' his ass off for ten laps solo! So Pro Pedals Cat 4 team is lookin' like shark's teeth, we lose one (Ryan) and another pops up to take his place. Nice job and a hell of a display of strength. Rounding out Cat 4 Dirty nailed 9th, Richie 12th, Steve 21st, I was 23rd, and Lockburner 24th; with Otto, Dan, and Ruben finishing it out. Not a bad day.
In 1/2/3 action it was ultimately two North Eastern Hardware racers taking the win. There was a four man break including Steve Blackman of Peddlers Shop and they were away for a long time, over 20 laps. At some point the two guys from North East started attacking the break and that was it for Steve; very nice effort however on his part.Big Shawn from Peddlers looked like he may have nailed 6th. From our team Jason, Eric, Ronnie, Bob, and Anthony started.Anthony got blown half way through, no doubt tired from the cat 3 race. Eric ended up on the ground with some rather nasty looking road rash, but didn't break anything. Everyone else finished (I'll never figure out how Ronnie manages to finish these fast 1/2/3 races, and for all you jokers who say it's easy if you're suckin' wheels; try it sometimes, it ain't easy,good job).
In our never ending quest for pain; me, Otto, Dave, Jon, and Richie lined up for the 35+. I looked around and saw the Mambos, Peddler shop,Human Zoom, Ideal Tile. I figured it would only hurt for a little while. We were scheduled for 25 laps; I don't know how many I was scheduled for. This race actually started a little slow, it seemed like the first (5) laps were pretty docile. It was definitely a smooth race, I felt real comfortable. Then the attacks started. And they hurt. When you move up in category the attacks become longer, more violent, and more frequent. A large group of 10-15 guys got away and were out there for a long time. At some point the pack started to reel 'em in and with one final gut bustin' effort, closed the whole thing down except for one lone rider who finished up off the front with the win. I was quite happy to finish at the back of the pack and put this one in the books. Dave finished strong with 14th; the rest of us came in with the field.
So a decent weekend; two wins (Joey and Caleb) and Dave with 9th. We continue to do well in the lower categorys ( 4 and 5). Ryan was at a wedding; he'll begin terrorizing Cat 3 next week. And the rest of us are riding decent. Overall the only real blemish was Eric goin' down; hopefully nothing too serious.
Next up, Somerville!