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 3/10/07 Branchbrook

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

PostSubject: 3/10/07 Branchbrook   Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:19 am

From Ed like no one else can tell it

Another day of early season racing, and today I was NOT GOING TO BE
DENIED!!! Most of you recall last weeks mess when I missed opening day with vehicular problems, the victim of a dead battery. So this morning when the alarm went off at 2:45, I hit the bathroom, threw on some clothes, and went out and cranked over the team van. YES!!! We have lift-off!!! So I headed north, picked up Ryan, met Richie and Joey D. and away we we went. We arrived at 5:15, got our numbers, christened the Porta Can, and talked about THE BIG PLAN. We were stacked in the 4/5; Ryan, Richie, Dan, Jonathan, Joey, Reuben,Otto, and of course "el cap-i-tan". The plan was simple, cover the breaks and let Ryan do his thing at the end and for me, Jon, and Richie to survive the 3/4. We were also joined by Kenny Smith in the 3/4.

The weather was a bit brisk, mid 30's and damp; but not to bad. In fact for our crew of "arctic survival trained" winter riders it was almost balmy. The 4/5 field was about 45-50 deep, smaller than last week. We took off and the pace was reasonably quick, 23-24, but very manageable. I settled in comfortably, sat back, cracked open a cold one, and watched the race unfold. The first serious attack went off at the start of the second lap ( 3 Laps, approx 15 miles total) when two guys jumped and Joey D. decided to go with them. These early breaks rarely stand a chance, but it was a nice aggressive move and you never know, anything can happen in a short race. And Joe has the horsepower if he gets with the right guys, which this time he didn't. They got caught about 1-1/2 miles later. Richie immediately attacked (which is the way you're supposed to race, nice job). But the field let him dangle about 100 yards off the front until he finally dropped back. Coming down the back stretch Big Dan took his turn at the front driving the pace up to 27-28
mph and held it for about a mile then he backed off. Branchbrook is a great course except for the dreaded "CONE". At the top of a long (one mile) shallow (2%?) climb you have to do a 180 around a cone and head back down. Imagine 50 Cat4/5's who all want to be the first one through, today we got through uneventfully except for Otto. He got jammed up the second time through and could not catch back on.He's not in race shape yet, but it won't be long before he's back. The second time up the hill Ryan went to the front and pretty much rode up all the way dropping some of the less fit riders.The last lap things were pretty much settled down as everyone seemed to be saving it for the sprint. And we came through to perfection .Well, almost. After the group had rounded the cone Ryan immediately got to the front. Big Dan took off up the outside and positioned himself right on the front with Ryan right on his wheel. Me, Jon, Richie, and Joey D. were in the top fifteen settin' up for the sprint and I think Reuben was right behind me.We came under the bridge, about 500 meters to go, hittin' about 32 mph when Ryan launched off Dan's wheel and blew away to the finish, his second first place in two weeks finishing at least 100 meters in front of the field. Richie and Jon came up the left side, and a coupla guys decided to touch wheels in front of me and Joe. They went down and took out half the field including me and Joe. I got up and finished, Joe limped in,Reuben was in there somewhere, andfortunately none of us got hurt. A suddenly on-form, sandbaggin' Jonathan (who was getting dropped on our Sunday recovery ride
last week) came storming in for 3rd with Richie in 4th. Mark swears that Jon is wearin' a weight belt under his ridiculous snowsuit and has been
low-keyin' his level of fitness the past few weeks. I just think he's a
lyin' S.O.B. and he's been waitin' all winter to kick our butts. Either way
he's back on his game. And of course Richies' Richie. Always on th front and always top ten. Me? I'm pissed!! Had an honest chance at a top ten and got tangled up with a buncha nimrods. Oh, well get 'em next week.

Or next race. What's better than doin' a race Saturday morning? Doin' TWO races Saturday morning!
So me, Richie, Kenny, and Jon lined up for the 3/4. My plan was very basic. Sit in, suck wheels, do no unnecessary work, and survive. I can suck a wheel harder in a 3/4 race than Paris Hilton in a home video. All I was lookin' for was mileage. The 3/4 race pretty predictable, fast, steady pace (about 24 mph); about halfway through a five man break got away with Westwood Velo, Adler Racing, and 3-D represented. With William O'Donnell of Westwood driving the break it had a good chance of success. This guys the real deal, he can hammer. And with three major teams represented, the field pretty much settled in and let the break go. Adler screwed up when their guy got dropped and now they were all stuck back in the field with the break gone. The break stuck and O'Donnell got his second victory in a row(looks like him and Ryan are on a collision course at some point in time). Jonathan came in somewhere in the top twenty and me and Richie cruised in with the pack. I was quite please finishing the second race with the main bunch and rackin' up 42 race miles for the day.At least I can hang.

So another week of solid performances, the team has seven top tens in the first two weeks of the season with Ryan undeniably dominating the 4/5 fields. The racing will get harder as the season progresses, but right now we look real solid in cat 4/5. All those cold Saturday and Sunday mornings freezin' our balls off all winter look to be paying off handsomely.

Next stop; 3/17/Stradsburg. I think we have James Flaherty, Bob Jaggard, and Steve Smith (?) and maybe Mark Cowin headin' up. I'll be working (plus I think there's a hill of some sort, so you can count me out!). Next Sunday 3/18 we have a full assault planned on Central Park. Looks like me, Ryan, Richie, Joey D., Jason, and Dirty Dave ( I begged Melissa for permission and she seemed glad to get rid of 'em for the day). Oh, and by the way Dave, tell Melissa thanks for tellin' my wife I crashed. Apparently they ran into each other at WalMart. You know the rules: NEVER LET THE WIVES TALK AMONGST THEMSELVES!!!. Nothing good ever comes of it.

That's it for this week, your "back in the saddle" reporter signing off
'till next week.
See Ya!
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