Rockin' the RMO
Frank Zoldak and Joe Paulson Represented the Vic's 45+ squad in the opening Time Trial stage of the Rocky Mountain Omnium, with Frank taking top honors over Jim Dickerson, and Joe posting the 4th fastest time to get the weekend off to a good start.
They were joined by John Talley for Saturday's Cabondale Criterium, which was combined with the 35+ field, which made for some interesting tactics. Rob Kelly was representing Vic's Espresso/Peerless in the 35+ group, so he made the scene as well. The racing was animated, but the 35+ riders chased down all of the promising breaks, so the race kept coming back together.
With just 5 laps to go, disaster stuck as JT suffered a rear blowout in a corner and went down, and Rob had no place to go but over JT's front wheel. Rob was able to stay upright, but was out of the mix. Frank took over the front on the last lap with Joe on his wheel, and Joe was able to launch for the win. Frank came across 5th, and the blue boys were in 1st and 2nd in the omnium standings after 2 stages.
Sunday brought the Rock the River Road Race, which also served as the 2011 State Road Race Championships. Due to some rough dirt, a few miles were cut off the biggest climb, but the remaining 64 miles, much of it dirt, still presented a formidable challenge. A bandaged and bruised JT joined Frank and Joe for the final stage.
The group stayed together until the steep dirt climbs, when much of the pack was shed, including Joe, who chased back on in tome to get dropped with JT on the next climb as Frank drove at the front with the heavy hitters. JT and Joe chased hard from no-man's land between the break and the remains of the field, but to no avail. They were eventually reabsorbed by the chasing field, which now numbered around 10 riders. Up front, Frank drove for home with his 6 breakaway companions.
At the finish, Frank got the jump on his companions, and just about pulled off the W, but his legs were cramping up, and he was caught at the line by a surging Dennis Farrell, and took the silver medal for 2nd in the State Championships while regaining the lead and victory in the Rocky Mountain Omnium!
With their teammate Frank up the road in the break, JT and Joe had a free ride for home sitting in the chase group. The final miles got very tactical as the sprint approached. Joe moved to the front to avoid getting boxed in, but a rider jumped and then faded across Joe's path, trapping him against the shoulder. Joe braked, backed out of the hole, and restarted his sprint, but was out of real estate, and took 3rd in the sprint, for the 10th overall in the race. The two lost positions proved crucial for the overall omnium standings, as Joe ended up tied on points for 2nd in the omnium, and losing the tiebreaker of finish placing in the road race, so he dropped to 3rd in the final omnium standings. Overall though, the boys produced 1st and 3rd overall in the RMO, 2nd in the state RR championships, and two stage wins, so not a bad weekend's work.