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 06/17/07 Prospect/Masters/Ronde'

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

PostSubject: 06/17/07 Prospect/Masters/Ronde'   Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:33 pm

I think my theme for this week's report will be:

"Always the bridesmaid; never the bride"

We had a coupla real nice second places this weekend. Kinda like kissin' your sister; nice, but somethin's not quite right (unless you're from West Virginia).

Anyway, a great weekend of racin'. All told I counted over twenty Pro Pedals riders out there goin' to war; it's good to see the team so active. We'll start with a quick re-cap from Saturday. Up in the bowels of NY City Dennis and Jonathan were ridin' strong bringin' back a pair of 6th places; Dennis in Cat 5 and Jon in Cat 4. Jon is definitely gettin' back in shape; he's almost got the "warp drive" fully tuned. Dennis has been spooky consistent at Prospect, almost always in the top six. He's lookin' to nail down the Summer Series up there and has a great shot (if he can keep draggin' his ass outta bed at 3:00 am to drive up there. Don't worry, I'll be right next to ya).Later that same morning Bob Jansen got it done in the 45+ Masters RR when he went out on a two-up break with John Bertolini and they stayed away for the whole race(30 miles). Bob got hooked in the sprint; but it was probably Bertolini's team mates that did the majority of the blockin' and allowed the break to stay away (I wasn't there; just my best guess).So we'll call it even. Regardless, a very impressive effort for Bob and a nice podium finish in one of the toughest classes and races of the season.

We had a great day of racin' at the Ronde' today. I know Jason was concerned about the relatively light pre-reg; but it looked like we had around 250 with a lot of same day sign-ups. Not too big, not too small; just right. I didn't see too many nasty crashes except for the one in the Cat 4 race. And I know he got banged up pretty good 'cause I ran right over 'em. I heard later he broke a collar bone and a wrist; it was the poor kids first race.And his dad saw the whole thing, he was talkin' to Melissa Beaudry during the race and was real proud of the kid.Up until the crash. Happy Father's Day.

The 1/2/3 race( which I didn't see) had a relatively small field. Those types of races are the absolute hardest as it is difficult to find a place to hide.If you ain't strong, you're in for a long day. There was a break that got away and pretty much walked away from the field with Jonathan Erdyli gettin' the win. This kid was a pretty serious domestic pro, raced in Belgium; he's a very strong rider. From what I gathered Bob Jansen made the final break and finished 6th (almost blastin' Shawn Teske who finished 4th in the sprint) to cap off a really impressive weekend. He's taken it to a new level these past two days.Eric Wally was in the second group with a nice 10th, Ronnie and Ryan H. were in there somewhere, and Anthony and Chris Fritz (how the hell did you end up in that race?) finished up for a solid day in 1/2/3. Steve Smith put in 5 laps and called it a day (still tired from yesterdays duathlon?)Did I miss anybody?

In the 40+ The Mambos pretty much dominated; when they're on there game they are tough to beat. Mark hung on for a lap with the break that contained four Mambos and one Quaker City guy. He finally burned out, cramped up, and had to drop back to the field finishing with a nice 16th place. Bob Jaggard and Mike Smith did some hard work at the front with Mark and The Peddler shop tryin' to get up to the break, but it wasn' happenin' today. Bob and Mike finished with the field. It's good to see Mike Smith back, he's a real beast when he's in shape(won't be long).

In the 3/4 we had Ryan, Dirty Dave, Crazy Rich, Otto (the Dominican Dominator), and Kenny Smith. At some point a pretty serious break got away and they started to put some real time on the field. Ryan, Keith, and John Nyman (Peddlers Shop) worked hard at the front to bring it back, but couldn't get anything goin'. Ryan let it go and sat up early on because he thought Richie was up there, by the time he realized his mistake it was too late. So four guys got away with Dan Brill from Beacon getting the win. Ryan blasted the field sprint easily takin' 5th place. Even though I know he wants to win real bad(and we're all used to him winning); keep in mind he was racin' Cat 5 eight weeks ago. To date Ryan's racked up a 12th and a 14th in the 1/2/3 at Prospect (full 100+ fields) and a 5th and a 10th in Cat 3. It won't be long.Dirty got a nice 13th (same number he wore!), Richie was maybe top twenty, and Otto came in with the front bunch. Good job.

And last but not least, Cat 4. It's easy to talk after the race about how "you knew you were goin' to have a good day" when you ride well; but the truth is I had no idea how I would make out. I had a bad case of the runs right up until five minutes before the start (thank God for that "secret Porta-John" across from the Start/Finish line). I packed a wad of toilet paper in my jersey and kept my fingers crossed that I wouldn't have to bail early. I wasn't about to soil my new team kit for this race; fortunately things settled down and I ended up feelin' pretty good. Real good, as a matter of fact.

We had probably 70 guys ( and a coupla girls) start the 4/5 race. For our team it was me, Stevie Wu, Caleb, Jonathan, James Flaherty, Joey D., Boyd, Butchy, Caleb's wife (Beth?), and I'm sure I'm missin' somebody (sorry). Beacon had six or seven guys, Norwood had six guys. Wayne, Nick, and Ed Murphy from Peddler Shop; all the regulars. We were set for four laps, 37 miles.There were some college kids there from Rutgers,Drexel, and Princeton ( I dusted their asses, they should be ashamed of themselves lettin' an old man like me bitch-slap 'em around. I got grand kids their age.)We rolled out at a relatively easy pace. There was an incredible tail wind, I looked down and I'm cruisin' at 27 mph and I'm not even turnin' the pedals. About two miles from the first turn I decide to attack, Michael Joseph from Colavita goes with me and we carry a nice gap around the first turn and hold it up to Indian Cabin. Just had to serve notice that the Captain was not to be taken lightly today! After a little recovery I hit it again about half way up Indian Cabin, got about 300m on the field, but no takers.They were scared now, I could sense it. There was no way they could with stand the barrage of attacks to follow. Next up was Steve, and when he went, he meant it. Steve managed to stay out there for over a lap (10 to 12 miles). About half way into his break, a Hermes rider bridged up and helped keep it goin'. Meantime we were doin' a superb job of sittin' on the front and holding the pace down. James in particular does a great job, he's always at the front of our races, settin' the pace; blockin' when necessary. I had to pull up next to him and slow him down a bit at one point; he was startin' to pull the pack up towards the break.

So Steve eventually gets reeled in. James rolled off the front several times by himself. On the third lap I launched another of my viscous attacks coming down Dump Road. Ed Murphy from the Peddlers Shop came with me and we held it for a mile, made it around the two right handers and gave it up on Elwood road. Coming across the finish line two guys started bangin' bikes right in front of me; I knew they were goin' down. I had no place to go but over the top; I ran right over the bike that went down in front of me, Boyd was right behind me, and somehow we made it through. Then there was a hard 35 mph+ attack that strung things out. When it sorted itself out, we had pretty much the whole team at the front. Joey D. tried to get away, but the field was too fresh and we were too close to the end. Everyone held position down Dump road, I came out of the right-handers a little too far back; but the high speed opened things up and i was able to easily maneuver myself into the top ten. We had the sprint set up perfect, everybody was there! With the tail wind we were pushin' close to 40 mph. This is absolutely why I race; what a friggin' rush! You got 15 -20 guys, bar to bar, yellin' at each other, lookin' for openings; waitin' for just the right moment to give that final surge that will result in victory. One screw-up and we're all in the hospital.
What could be better?

So Jonathan's on the right and he has a clear path to the line, Caleb and Steve are to the left near the center, I'm just inside Jon and Joey's inside me. Now it's just a drag race. When you're in the top ten it's a lot safer than being top twenty 'cause nobody's sittin' up. Everybody's goin' for the win! Caleb nails 2nd, Jon 4th, Steve 6th, Joe 8th, and the Captain is 9th. We did everything but win. All in all a great team effort. We were far and away the most aggressive team, we did the bulk of the attacking, and we put five guys in the top ten. Can't ask for much more than that. And we're racin' like a team; we're not chasing our own guys (you'd be surprised how often that happens), we're counter attacking when a break gets caught, we're blocking when our guys are away, and we're settin' up for the sprints. Good job.

Other top ten finishers included Chris Labreq from Norwood in 3rd, Zach Patrick (the kid form Iowa who wears that crazy-ass brown/orange/white kit) got 7th(he worked hard at the front all day). Wayne Povey from Peddler's was 11th; Ted Murphy, Nick Piccone, Boyd, Beth (hell of a job hangin' with the guys), and Butchy all finished up solid.And of course James who came in back of the pack after workin' at the front all day.

So a great weekend of racin'; congratulations to Bob and Caleb for two nice 2nd's. And nobody got hurt.

Not to end on a downer; but for those of you who know Joe Yacono of Peddler Shop, he just had surgery for throat cancer. Joe's a truly great guy and a solid rider for Peddler Shop. Say a prayer for him and let's hope for a full and speedy recovery. You can email him at

I'll be doin' the full time racer thing this week. Lakewood on Tuesday night, Greentree Thursday, Priinceton on Saturday, and Marlton on Sunday.

Until next time, your "from the saddle, off the front, top ten reporter"

The Captain
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