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 06/23/07 Corner House Grand Prix

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

PostSubject: 06/23/07 Corner House Grand Prix   Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:54 pm

All the signs were there. First off, the race was in Princeton were Lockburner does all of his hill training. The course description included the word "rolling" (this is usually the kiss of death for me). And to top it off, part of the course included "Mt Lucas" road. I figured this would be another $30.00 donation. I almost chicken-shitted out until Dirty Dave signed on at the last minute. So it was me, Dirty, and Big Dan set for the 4/5. There were officially 69 starters, I was hopin' maybe I could hide in the field; but that crap usually don't work in the hills.

We went out for a practice lap and it was actually a very nice course. It's a 2.4 mile loop.You start on a short 200m uphill, then it's a super fast 40 mph downhill into a right hand sweeper. Then a short, not to hard climb. Then a hard right onto Mt. Lucas Rd. and a short, 500m nasty little climb. Back down hill, an easy right, another 500m of mostly flat terrain, then a fast sweeper onto a long, grinding 3/4 mile run up to the finish line. Not really a hard climb, but at race-pace they're all hard. The road surfaces were perfect; but the traffic was insane; there were cars every where.

So I do a practice lap and I'm already thinkin' about Marlton tomorrow. Ah, Marlton; flat, fast; a place where I can be at my wheel suckin' best! As for today, it won't last long.

So we roll up to the line and we're off. Down the downhill, up the uphill; then the hard right onto Mt Lucas. I make it up and over and I'm thinkin' "I'll be okay". We fly down the hill, right turn; pedal,pedal,pedal; right turn and then the long grinder to the start finish. And slowly, inch by inch I'm gettin' gapped. The whole field is already starting to shred. By the top I'm 200m back; so I give it my all on the downhill and somehow make contact as we start to climb again. But I know it's over 'cause I'm already blown. We start to climb and when we hit Mt. Lucas again I'm completely done. The head referee loves to pull people so now it's time to cut my losses and see how many laps I can last. After what seems like an hour of suffering I get the ax with four (of eight) laps to go. Damn! And I felt so good last week; what happened?

So I pull over by the start finish and see Big Dan pull up; he made it to five laps before his expiration date came up. The field comes by and Dirty is still lookin' good. The "field" is now down to about (20) riders; this one was a complete shred-fest! And, I'll throw this one out there, there's a new "Ryan" in town (he'll hate me for sayin' that!). His name is Bill Blank, he was a Cat 5 earlier this year, he won the Cat 5 State RR, won our race last week; and when he came by he was so far off the front I thought he was off the back. This guy was flat-out flyin' around this course. On the last lap he crossed the finish line almost two minutes in front of the field. And the field was movin'! He rides for High Gear ( blue/yellow kit) and is
another one to watch.

So after the winner comes through, breaks down his bike, gets changed, and has breakfast; the field comes up for the final sprint and Dirty managed a very nice 12th place in what was an exceptionally hard race. There were 15 - 20 guys in that final group and only 31 official finishers; so me and Dan didn't feel too embarrassed. But we were flat out abused more than Farrah Fawcett in a bad LifeTime Movie (regular readers will recognize my favorite metaphor; I like to trot it out there two or three times a year for our new readers. Hope ya don't mind).

So Dirty continues to demonstrate that he is probably the strongest of the 4's. He has been quietly having an excellent year. His results have not been overly stellar because he is doing very hard races and is not taking the easy way out. Top 20 at Mt Joy in a brutal Masters race, 13th in the 3/4 last week ( rather than doin' the 4/5), and mid-pack at the 40+ Hartford Crit with a 29.7 mph average! And runnin' up front in today's brutal race.

So I'll make a mental note to cross this one off the schedule for next year, also another note to forget any silly-ass ideas about upgradin' to Cat 3 for awhile (might want to finish a hard 4 race before I go diggin' any more holes for myself). And start scouring the schedule for some flat races for the rest of the year (How 'bout it Jason, when's our next one?).

Tomorrow, I'll be like a fish floppin' back into the pond. Marlton, here we
come! '
Till tomorrow ,
The Captain
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