Thursday, August 5, 2010

2010 Masters Road Nationals, TT & RR


For the third consecutive year, Louisville, Kentucky is hosting the USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships, and this year the start coincided with the area's hottest weather in over a decade. The time trial was the first event this year, held on Tuesday, August 3rd in Taylorsville, Kentucky on the same challenging 14.4 mile hilly course that was used last year. Adding to the fun this year was the stifling weather, dead calm and peaking in the high 90's as the late morning start times approached for the 50-54 and 55-59 categories.

Representing the Vic's Espresso/Peerless team in the individual time trial were Joe Paulson in the 50-54 event, Mike Newsome and Dean Sandoval in the 55-59 class, and Dennis Hastings in the 60-64 field. The Vic's boys tried to say cool while warming up by riding their trainers with ice packs on their backs, but there was no hiding from the heat as soon as they rolled down the start ramp and faced the first climb.

Joe was off first, and turned in a 33:44 ride to claim 12th place in the 50-54s. Dean was out next, and finished in 33:25, 11th in the 55-59s. Mike rolled out 30 seconds behind time trialist extraordinaire Jim Dickerson, and rode the race of his life to hunt him down, beating Jim by 8 seconds to claim the 5th podium spot in a time of 33:06! Last but not least, Dennis turned in a time of 34:38 to claim 7th in the 60-64s, only 4 seconds off the podium. All told, a successful day for the boys in blue.

No rest for the weary; the road race on the challenging 5 mile Cherokee Park course was held the next day, Wednesday August 4th. Replacing Dennis in the Blue line-up was Barry Messmer in the 60-64 class. Barry lined up first at 10:00 AM for 7 laps of the rolling, twisting circuit, and broke into the top 10 with an 8th place finish.

Joe lined up at 3:15 PM for the 50 mile 50-54 race as the temperature climbed to a record high of 103 degrees. It was a race of attrition, with riders dropping out right and left, but Joe survived to grab the last spot in the top 20. Mike and Dean followed at 5:30 PM with the heat and humidity still unbearable, and his immense efforts of the previous day caught up with Mike on the 4th lap of the 9 lap race. Overcome with chills, it was clear the Mike was risking heat stroke, so he pulled out at Joe's post on the feed hill. Dean persevered, and crossed the line in 17th place. It was with immense relief that the boys in blue bid farewell to Cherokee Park and went in search of replacement fluids and calories.

Mike and Joe are staying until Louisville for the criterium on Sunday, August 8th, and enjoyed an easy recovery day as the weather finally broke, and rainstorms cooled off the area.

No comments: