Thursday, March 19, 2009
Madera Stage Race 45+ 1,2,3 - Race Report
Madera Stage Race 45+ 1,2,3
The Crit is the standard 4 corner, windy RR track crossing - easy. 40min. race.
30min. into the race Bubba goes w/ a Morgan guy. Bubba is clever as he waited to make sure I was boxed, so he goes before turn 1 and it was as we approached the 55+ group we were about to lap. i waited till he was around the corner and went. As I came around the corner I could Bubba on the left side / front of the 55's and the Morgan guy getting gapped off. I slid next to the 55 group on the right and watched Bubba as he was looking over his shoulder to see if any one was coming..... as soon as he turned around I hit it and crossed the front of the 55's - so he's drilling it and realizes someone's on his wheel, then he starts yelling he's a 45 and waving me off..... as soon as he turns and sees its me he sits up and stops. This is 10min into the race, and I'm thinking "ok, we go back..." so I say to him "ya wanta go?" and he's all "ya! fuckin go!" So we go.... and I know our boys are straight to the front keeping things in check!
30min of this and somehow I'm sequenced to the ft before the final turn.... I take that, as Bubba is for sure one of the main guys in all these crits with a thousand wins.... bow to the king.... kiss the ring.
So my preference is to take it into the cement gutter on the right before the last corner - a right hander. We ride in there till the last turn where I hit it and got the gap and just rode that gap till he got a bit closer and went again for the win. However fun to win from the front position, I hate this part of the race where you have to turn on your break partner, and I like Bubba.
20sec bonus + 5sec for prime = 20sec We have the yellow-
The TT - About 2 yrs ago I sat down with Floyd and asked him to explain just how to TT. He gave me his min by min ideas but I could never get it together..... till my coach Mark really got it across to me. And it all worked as good as it could in the TT. I had a solid run and felt I played it just right, 23:02, got Bubba by 8sec. but Dan Smith (Morgan) had a great time of 22:30 so in the end I was still in yellow by :11.
The Road Race - all we need to do is keep in contact with our key players as we have a pad of :11 to the closest guy - Dan Smith MS -
Sooooo, here is the race primer as to how we fucked up the whole w/e loosing the overall race:
To set the stage, at mile 11 on the first lap I flat. I asked Jess if it looked like I was going low? no, so I move to the ft and am starting to feel it going. I get to Peter and tell him i have a flat. OK, so at this point lets just freeze the picture as these next few sec. start the domino's falling..... What I did, was ride off the front and get out a quick fill foam canister and then off to the side and stop.
What I should have done, was go to the front and announce I had a flat and would they ease up and wait for me to get back on. Typical GC leader courtesy.
What happened was, I pulled off without a word and tried to do the quick fill - foam went everywhere but into the tire. Peter came back and gave me his wheel (a gesture that was huge! leaving himself out in the middle of nowhere, truly a selfless act - thanks Peter!!!!) Jess pulled over up the road and waited for me. The whole stop and change took a bit over a min. While we were doing this, the later reports were the field attacked, they yelled "GC is off the back, go go" and other notes via email from the pack of not waiting have been received. Good to know who you are racing with, and now I know!
What should have happened was,
1)We should have had a rock solid plan for an issue like a flat since we had the yellow.
2) I should have gone to the ft and put the load on them to race fair - who wants to win on a mechanical? Morgan Stanley won.
3) Anyway, the team should know what's going on. Jess knew, Peter knew but Tony and Jonathan stayed with the pack.
4) With all the thousands of miles I've spent covering the pro races, one thing is always the same and we should all know this. When your main guy has a flat etc... and needs to be paced back on, the team staggers along the route. That's to say, for example, Jess goes far enough up the road for me to ride a solid 1~2min. drilling it. When I get to him he should already be up to full speed (never should you arrive faster than the next man and this is his responsibility to be up to speed) and I should not have to pull. Then we get to Tony who is watching us come and he has the time to bring it slowly up to full speed and then he pulls to the next guy and the next etc.... if we are out there for long enough the leader can now (recovered) take over pace making and a rotation can develop. Keep in mind you don't need to blow yourselves up but continue to keep closing.
This is not what we did - Jess and I worked together to the bottom of the hills where I had to leave him.
5) In the planning for a mishap, we should have known who would be giving the wheel - in our haste, we took Peter out of the race and he was a main team mate for that stage. And subsequently we took Jess out as well as he was left in no-mans-land and out of the race. For me, chasing 50 guys for 40mi was never going to amount to much - and it didn't....
6) Jonathan and Tony were left in the field with Jonathan in 5th overall GC. The race has changed and they were in position to still win it. A break got away and in it was the 6th place GC guy, but Jonathan missed it. I don't know if he found Tony and tried to get into it - if nothing else they had to chase it down. I'll let them write this part of the report as I was not there... one thing is for sure, we all need to know what's going on at the front 100% of the time!
I'd like to say thanks again to all the guys - they did a great job all the way thru to leading the race and as a good team, we all went down with the ship together! ;-)
And now I'm a different racer.... never forget who your racing against. Never.