Thursday, May 20, 2010

Winona Lake

I keep thinking about writing a blog entry, because I've been doing some racing and some other blogworthy (in my opinion) stuff, but it just keeps getting put on the back burner. I finally got the motivation to put some of it into writing, but I'm going to do it in a few separate installments, to avoid one mega-post.

At the start of May I headed up to Warsaw, Indiana for the Fat and Skinny Tire fest. For us skinny tire types, it was a weekend with a 60-some mile road race and an hour long crit the next day. The turnout for the road race was great, better than almost everyone expected. We had 3 guys there, Roadhouse had a handful, Nuvo had a small gaggle, Verizon had a few, RGF had Rolf & Co., Kenda sent Kamikaze Chad B. up to do their dirty work, and there were a few other strong men from assorted teams.

The course was a windy flat square and the racing was hot from the gun. It took almost an hour to get any type of separation, but when it did we had Greg in it. He was only one of 7 or so, so I tried to get across to it... for like 15 miles. As we were about to get to the break, Chris Uberti and David Williams came blazing past us and finished it off for us. This was nice because it ended my suffering and also gave us 3 Panther riders in the break. Eventually the break split again with Chris, Erik Hamilton and Will Nowak getting away together. We were fine with that because Chris has an almost .500 win percentage on the season. As usual, he didn't disappoint. With Chris winning the 3 up sprint, Greg and I threw down mediocre sprints from the remainder of the break and were able to bring home a small amount of additional bacon for the squad.

Sunday Greg and Chris went home, leaving me to do work alone. It was a pretty nasty day with thunderstorms rolling through periodically. A similar, yet slightly smaller field was assembled for the crit. I knew a break would go, so I was prepared to be on my toes. I started in the front row and nailed my pedal right away. I was in a bit too large of a gear and kinda sprinted to get on top of it by the first turn. I ended up taking the "hole-shot" and diving into the first corner. I rolled it steady through turn 2 and check behind to see what was crackin'. Nothin. John Puffer and I had a nice little gap, considering we had been racing for 15 seconds. We both took a couple hard pulls and stretched out the gap. Some of the other well represented teams sent guys across and we all rolled it nicely. A few of the initial members of the move got dropped, so we settled in with 5 of us and lapped the field real quick like. We spent the remainder of the hour trying to separate ourselves from each other, but the guys with teammates weren't letting that happen.

Once it became evident that we would be sprinting with the remainder of the field, Ben Renkema offered to lead me out since I was solo, he was solo, and hadn't lapped. Sounded good to me. Ben can sprint very rapidly. I found him on the last few laps and went into the last corner on his wheel, and came out of it sliding on top of his bike...

I got up and wobbled my bike across the line for 5th place, suffeciently bummed that I couldn't get a little more out of that situation. So it goes. Joe Martin on tap

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