Today was kind of a weird, ass- backwards day for me; but more on that later. It was me and Big Dan, I was slated for the 4/5 and the 3/4 double; Dan took a page from my book and doubled up in the Cat 5 and the 4/5. Eric showed up later to do the 35+ and the 1/2/3. The weather was perfect, much cooler and dryer than yesterday.
Doylestown is a nice circuit race, about a 2.4 mile loop. It starts out with a short, moderate climb then turns into a housing project with two criterium type turns. It leaves the project, comes around the backside. then back in for one or two more sweepers. Then back out to Turk Rd were it drops straight down for a 40+mph downhill that pitches you uphill ( you barely have to pedal!) into a right hander with a short kicker and then down 500m to the finish. It's a really neat course.
The Cat 5's were first to go and I thought Dan would have a chance. Nick, Eric, and Wayne from Peddler's were also there. They were scheduled for 17 miles. I told Dan if he's feelin' it to take a late break attempt. Dan looked strong the whole way and on the last lap he jumped about 1 1/2 miles out, back in the housing project. I was at the finish line and as the pace car came through I saw a lone rider off the front with about a 200m gap with the peloton surging up from behind. I was trying to make out the jersey, and sure enough there were the black and red opposing sleeves, it had to be Dan! I could actually feel the excitement mounting as he charged to the line, but with 200m to go five riders blasted out of the pack and swept by, grabbing the top five spots with Dan finishing 6th 20m ahead of the remaining field. So an excellent effort by Dan, a ballsy attack and an escape that almost worked, and he still salvaged a nice 6th place. This was a Jason Bradley type of attack, all in and bury yourself till the end. Nice job! Wayne from Peddler's crashed out (he's ok), Eric Toff managed a decent 12th with Nicky Piccone in 20th. Good job guys.
Dan was doing the 4/5 next with me. I had schooled him on proper number-pinning for the dailey double. We were doin' 23 miles and had probably 50+ in the field. Big Ed Murphy from Peddlers was in this one also.My report on this one will be short and sweet 'cause I got bombed out early. I lasted through three laps of yo-yo-ing off the back before I got popped for good. Not sure what happened, could be I just suck or maybe yesterday's effort (I had a pretty decent race there) took too much out of me. Dan had dropped back to try and pull me up several times, but i finally had to wave him off. Dan also dropped at some point; but he he gets a pass after his excellent effort in the first race. Ed Murphy racing for the first time as a Cat 4 looked real strong and came in with the main field. Good job, Ed
So, as I sat there contemplating whether I should start the 3/4 race; I had pretty much decided on packin' it in end and heading home early. But at some point I decided what the hell, I might as well get in whatever miles I can. It's not like I need to worry about gettin' embarrassed in a race; God knows I've done enough of that this season. So I changed my numbers, got a fresh bottle, and went to the line. Seeing 6 or 7 riders from Guys racing, another bunch from Gotham, Pat Gellineau and Gavin Robertson (two of the fastest sprinters in the area) did nothing to inspire confidence. We had about 80 guys in the field. Mark Costa from 3D told me with the big field we'd have an easy time sittin' in. Yeah, right!
The whistle blew, we were nuetralized for the first two miles. I fully expected these guys to blast off when the pace car pulled ahead, but the pace stayed pretty stable. The first lap was fairly easy (10 laps total). The second lap was quick, but steady. I kept waiting for the inevitable explosion, but it never quite happened. It seemed like there would be a rider or two off the front and with the bigger teams represented, no chase would follow. The single riders and sprinters knew they couldn't afford to chase. There were several very fast sections, but the turns through the project i seemed to have wired by now and at the half way point, I knew I would make it. At the end it came down to a bunch sprint, Keith from Peddlers was solidly in the top ten; I was solidly at the very back of the field thrilled to have actually finished. So as I said early, a backwards day for me; finish the 3/4 and get dropped in the 4/5. Go figure!
So, a very important lesson learned, ya always gotta give it a try. I've always been intimidated by the Cat 3 races in Pa, Finishing this race was a real confidence booster. I'm sure I would have been in the top twenty or better if I'd a been a little fresher. To you better riders who are winning and finishing in the top ten, this may not seem like much. But it gave me some decent mileage for the day and I left there with a much better mind set than what I was feelin' after gettin' dropped from the 4/5. It also re-confirmed my decision to upgrade to cat 3 after the state crit. I also think I'm a little smoked from all the racing, I think I'll cut back to one race per weekend.
Also, we have a new rider coming on board, a kid named Scott Land. He's a younger guy (30), he looks real fit and proved it by getting 8th place today in his first race in the Cat 5. We just keep gettin' stronger. I'll have to wait for Eric to email in his results.
So great job by Dan nice aggressive move and a nice finish!
Next up, the Lockburner Memorial Race (Medford) on 8/11.
Your "from the saddle and burnt to a crisp, but feelin' better" reporter