The VB Wheelmen organized another great race at Sleepy Hole park in Suffolk on Sunday. I raced Cat 4 in the morning. This course makes me pretty nervous because the paved track is quite narrow with two hard turns that can put you in the dirt and a bend in the finishing straight. But only 32 guys preregistered, so it was more manageable.
The race, as they all do, started fast with one knucklehead trying to attack from word go. That lasted a half lap. Eventually everybody settled in. I went with one attacking threesome, which lasted a lap. Then I blocked for an attack that included Jerry. All of my Tripower teammates in the race – Jerry, Chad, Art and Mike – took digs off the front at various points during the race.
I countered after one big breakaway attempt and got off the front solo as the team blocked for me. The pic above from Mike C. (more pics here) shows me in the first turn as the group rolls through the start/finish. My lead grew to about 20 seconds at most with me in the second turn as they crossed the finish line. I sustained 25mph for a while, but had really hoped somebody would come across and work with me. I stayed away for 5 or 6 laps, I think, but my speed started dropping and the group lost patience with my mates blocking.
Back in the pack, I focused on recovering and staying in good position and safe as the lunatics risked life and limb for the burrito premes. The pace picked up with four laps to go. Somehow a VCU rider went down solo on the back stretch, his popping tire sounding like a gunshot. During the second to last lap, a guy rolled a little off the front. It was a moment too long before I realized his teammate was blocking at the front and suddenly he had 50 meters and was time trialing hard.
I moved up from about 10th wheel to fifth on the backstretch in the bell lap, then jumped hard out of the third corner in a futile effort to bridge and perhaps lead out Chad. But the rider was too far away and all I succeeded in doing was leading out a Natures Path guy and Devinnish from the Outer Banks (aren’t you ready to upgrade yet?). Chad finished right behind, so I nipped 4th, just out of the money.
TriPower had a decent day. Carhart got 6th in his race – 3rd in the field sprint, as did Kevin in Cat 3. Hosang and Greco were 9 and 10 in the 1/2/3 race. Sally and Brenna went 5th and 6th in the women’s 1/2/3 and Lynn 4th in the women’s 4 race, which Chad’s wife Dawn finished as her first crit.
It was a gorgeous day out at the park and we enjoyed a beverage (thanks Art) after the race as we watched others turn circles. Millie accompanied me and had a wonderful time running around the infield with other kids there. She tells me she’s going to be a racer too some day.