Sunday, June 1, 2008

100th Post! Tioga Velo Circuit Race Report

Today's post is the 100th on the Capital Bicycle Racing Blog. Its exciting to see that as a team we've managed to do something, really anything, this many times.

On to the interesting stuff. As I am summering in lovely Susquehanna Depot PA, I decided to enter the Tioga Velo Circuit race today in lew of driving back up to Albany to get dropped on the second lap of Empire Qualies. The circuit race is on a 1.6 mile loop around a potato chip factory. My host for the summer actually is a manager at that factory, so if anyone needs some sweet deals on frito lay products let me know and I'll see what I can do. This isn't even a joke.

So the loop, anyway, has about a 300m rise in it where you climb around a bend up to the top and then go back down. the flat back stretch had a headwind today and then there was a tailwind on the climb. The finish is at the top of the rise.

The 4/5 race was 20 laps. There was be primes.

On the first prime I used my general rule of contesting it to see who else would sprint, how far to go from, etc. Its good practice and all. So at about 500m I see that I am too far back, pull out into the wind and try to work my way up. No one wanted to let me in though so I ended up riding right up on to the front. I went the next 200m in the wind. Figuring I was screwed for the prime since I was leading it out, I drilled it at the bottom of the hill.

I went about half way up and looked back to see what was going on. Lo-and-behold, I had about a 10 bike length gap. I eased up and crossed the line and asked the official if there was a prime this lap, thinking I was a moron and just sprinted for no reason. Turns out there was a prime and I won it (a sweet Chenengo Point Bicycles water bottle).

Back to the race. Apparently after my "show of force" I was a marked man. I tried to get in a couple moves and they kept getting shut down. Finally a move with the right representation (ie: 2 guys from Corning Cycling and a guy from TVC) went away. I tried fruitlessly to bridge, chase, etc, but both of the big teams where interested in keeping the group together and letting the gap build.

Finally with about 7 laps to go I rode up to the front and told the corning cycling team that they should get off the front and stop shutting it down. They ignored me so I said "I'm gonna go across. If you chase you'll tow everyone to the break. I'll make sure you don't see me again if I get across."

Bridging is hard. I got a gap, and drilled it but basically got stuck in no mans land. The corning guys chased me down, a few other guys flying solo came to the front and kept the speed up.

This is where my error came in. I say, "how many people are in the break?" Thinking there are 3 people up the road. Someone next to me says there are two guys in the break.

With 2 laps to go one of the guys in the break pops and rolls back through the field. I can see one solo rider fighting the headwind as we enter the last lap. At the 500m to go he's slowing and suffering and as we hit the finishing rise I punch it out of the group, gap the field and sprint past the remaining breakaway rider, beating him by about half a bike at the line.

I throw my hands in the air and think holy crap I freaking one a bike race after like 4 years of trying.

Awesome right? Then, the guy I pipped at the line rolls up and says, sorry dude, another guy was up the road, you were second.


So yeah, like I thought, there where THREE riders in the break. One popped and came back. I passed one at the line, but the other one was long gone and finished before I ever saw him.

Celebrating not winning is the new black I guess.

With that result I put in for the cat 3 upgrade. I'm interested to see how fast Alan Atwood denies me. I imagine it will be vary fast.

Would you upgrade this: 3rd cat 4 at Johhny Cake 2 (with 3 canadian cat 1s taking the 1-3), 4th at JC3, 4th cat 4 in Syracuse crit (3/4), 2nd today at the tioga velo circuit race.

obviously I like flat races and sprints... we'll see what Alan thinks.


suitcaseofcourage said...

Congrats on your placing - it's STILL 2nd, an enviable spot anyway.

Interested also in your upgrade story since I'm a Cat4 hoping to upgrade to 3 by the end of the season (despite my recent injury). Dunno it the stds in your association are different than ours, but I was told that in mixed category races your actual result against all categories(rather than against just your category) is what counts.

Hope I'm wrong for your sake though - your results indicate a strong rider. Good luck on your upgrade - looking forward to seeing the report here!

eric said...

For the run down on how points are handed out check out:

Gary Toth, our chief of all things USAC explained mixed racing this way:

There's two things to look at. What place you got, and how many people where in the race. You have to have a minimum number of racers your category or higher for the race to count.

You can delete the people who beat you from the results that are higher cats, and count the people that you beat who are higher cats than you for the purpose of getting to the minimum total racer number. You can't count lower cats that you beat though, and lower cats who beat you do count against you.

So, in a 3/4 field, 3s that beat you are irrelevant, but 3's that you beat count.

In a 4/5 field only cat 4s count, so winning but beating 49 cat 5s doesn't count for anything. At the same time, getting third in a 4/5 with 2 cat 5s ahead of you is just third, no saying 1st cat 4 when the only guys that beat you are 5s.

This makes sense right?

I've heard that USAC is trying to make it more approchable to upgrade to cat 3 since there's been a sort of stale mate in the cat four ranks in the last couple years.