Monday, July 28, 2008

Salida Omnium, July 25 - 27, 2008

Masters 55+ blue boys at the Salida Omnium:

We got to Salida on Friday afternoon in time for their first heavy rains in a month. The time trial started late at 7:35 PM for us but happily late enough that the rains subsided. Randy poured it on and won handily, with Rio Grande’s Steve Workman and Mike Myers in second and fourth. Barry took third. Steve held 5th Paul 7th and Bill 8th.

Into the hard “queen” stage of the omnium on Saturday, the hilly and technical road race west of town. We rode three and ½ laps of the 12 mile circuit: The skies had somewhat cleared and it was cool (compared to the blistering heat back in Boulder) as we rolled out at noon. We planned on Barry going up the road with Rick Montgomery who climbs well and we knew would take off. Barry would do no work and drop him on the final climb for the win. It happened as planned although Barry demonstrating his trademark patience went with a full lap to go for the win. The rest of us stuck close to protect Randy. Paul rolled away with two other riders with a lap and a half to go. One was in front of him on GC so he had to go. He dropped them on the final climb to take 3rd and our boys came in with Bill in 5th , Steve in 7th, Jonathon in 8th and Randy in 11th having struggled on the final approach just before the final climb. Barry moved into Omnium yellow with Paul in 2nd on GC and Bill and Randy tied for 4th, Steve in 7th and Jim holding his own a couple of places back.

Now for the Sunday Criterium: We recognized that we would need to get Bill or Randy the win to lock the top three in the Omnium. We planed our usual two-up attacks and agreed that no red riders would be with the attackers or we would go back and try again. Workman went from the gun actually pulling Paul and red team Mike Myers off the front. A half lap later, Steve and Bill exploded out of the chasing pack, came by and were gone. The two red boys chased hard putting in huge efforts for several laps. As they tired with Barry and Paul covering their every pull, Randy surged up the right side, solo. This lit a fire under the reds and they re-doubled their efforts to keep Randy close and were succeeding until Randy pulled out with what we thought was a mechanical so I attacked up the side and bridged to Steve and Bill. They pulled hard and we lapped the field with Bill taking the win. Barry had attacked the bunch and soloed to fourth. Omnium results: Barry 1st, Paul 2nd, Bill 3rd, and a podium sweep plus gold in all three stages.

An awesome weekend for blue!!!! Is this fun or what?

Salida is such a great little town. There are good rides all over the valley and the Arkansas River, a playground for the kayakers, rafters and Labrador retrievers is right in their front yard. We had a couple of great dinners at the Boathouse, a place on the river and walked around downtown on Saturday night. There are big 14-ers all around and the valley is lush and cool in the summer.

Paul Mack

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