Sunday, April 26, 2009

Deer Trail 55+ Race Report

Race Report and Results: Deer Trail Road Race, CO
Deer Trail, cold and dreary conditions prevailed, the different news was - minimal WIND. The roads were dry, but cold enough for most everyone to layer up.

Pre-race discussions lowered team expectations on the possible success of a cross-wind team echelon, but it was to be considered in route. Because of a presumed significant uphill finish sprint Barry and Bill were selected as final sprint candidates with Paul and Steve controlling the competitors. Not knowing the fitness of the competition, this being the first head to head road race, and knowing many many many hills were on the plate we thought attrition would be a factor and we were willing to hold our cards until the final 10 miles or so.

The peloton rolled out full - 50 rider capacity for the race.

Shannon Fox, a new 55+ racer, rolled off the front and began building a TT'er lead. Vic's put some power on the front with Barry and Jon, but the other teams were not contributing. SF continue to extend the lead. At the first turn around the lead was out to 20 seconds.

I (SW) conferred with Paul about the uncontrolled situation. We needed to to something. I, being a fat butt with a sprint, sprinted a hill top and put full power on running down hill - trying to perturb the other teams to apply some horsepower. With an expert move, and to SW's delight, the first jersey to show up was Vic's - on the back of Paul. One small guy came with PM and we had a gap - so, we began a two
man TT. Of course we gave the little guy the option - play or
pay. He paid - another good move by Paul.

What ensued next was a road race wake-up call. Shannon had 30 seconds and it took PM and SW about 30 minutes to finally reach him. The threesome equally shared the work and we build the lead out to 1:20. The perfect situation then suffered a set back. PM had a few chain mechanicals and came out of the break.

A that point the break strategy changed. SF was in charge of the pace - and as it turns out was the STRONGEST man in the race. At each turn around and moto-report the chase group was closing, but three Vic's were on board. SW gave SF some short pulls for encouragement and to keep some pace as the miles tick bye. Finally, the 1km mark appeared at which time SF and SW were overtaken by cat 4 lead group that had been
passed earlier. The sprinting open early and the cat 4's were too slow. SW threaded the needle back through the group with SF in tow beginning 400m out - in the clear
and with a final kick at 200m and SF suffering from previous work done - it was clear
victory for Vic's.

Meanwhile, the shattered remains of the peloton with Barry and Bill caught Paul with 6 miles to go. Rio Grand’s sprinter, Myers was there rested and ready. At 400 M to go Paul led out the Vic’s sprinters but Myers flirting with disqualification, crossed the yellow line to take third.

PS: SW has ridden and raced against SF since 1988 - and has been on both sides
of the winning and losing equation. At the end of the race SW called SF aside and acknowledged he was the strongest man on the day. SF said "I thought you might give me the race". SW said "sorry I could not do that - I race for Vic's not for SW alone"

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