It all starts with the Beverly Classic. This one was a little different for me because it actually contained people I have raced with. The field was smaller than what I remember, but the pace and primes almost every other lap were the same. I thought that it was impressive there was $3500 dollars in primes eventhough that number was down from a once $5000. Some of the guys I have raced with who were in the field got popped in the first 4 laps, but 3 others hung on to the end. Two of those guys who hung on, I just raced against in the Tour De Villas.
Couldn't do Geneva, worked that day. I heard there were some nasty crashes though.
Homewood: Cat 4/5 Having just got off shift at 7AM, I was a little tired to say the least. Traffic was light and I got there in plenty of time for a change. Seeing that it was a warm morning I didn't want to warm up too much and I'm glad I didn't. Our race didn't start until 45 minutes after the posted time so there was a lot of warm up laps taken before the race. I would rather have a safe race experience with the oil washed down in the one corner and course marshalls stopping traffic from coming onto the course than not having those things done.
The race goes off and I am still having a difficult time clipping in. The new Look Max's I use are so smooth moving that any forward movement gets them rocking more than my old pedals. So I loose a couple of positions, no big deal. Well this puts me behind a Team Mack rider who in turn one puts his inside pedal down and ends up high siding off his bike. I am directly behind him hitting the brakes just waiting to hit him, but his momentum carried him to the outside of the corner with me just avoiding him. So now I am all alone with about 9 guys off the front. I decided right after I regained my speed to go and chase them down, I was finally able to latch back on just before the turns started. Now the group I was in were 10 strong and in 4 laps we swelled 20. I wish we could have worked better to keep it 10. There was communication, but nobody really wanted to pull through. With about 3 to go, another crash in turn one. With 2 to go a crash on the second right after the straightaway. On the last lap I was able to gain some positions in the turns. Everybody took the turn where the oil was tight and I came around wide by myself picking up places and being able to pedal through the turn. Onto the s/f I liked how you could cut real close to the guard rail on the inside of the manhole cover. I was a little surprised that the sprint didn't happen after the turn but closer to the finish line. I came in 6th with some more gas in the tank.
Cat 4/5 35+ For me it was a little too long in between races. I like an hour off in between, but this was more like 2. On the line I marked a couple of riders who I have seen in the past do well, no real big team presence though. I wouldn't say this race was tamer, just safer. A couple of times a guy would get off the front with somebody blocking, but they were all pretty short lived. With 2 laps left a Wheelman trys to string out the field. I knew that on the back stretch I had to move up before the turns which I did. At the bell I'm sitting about 5 back. Around turn 2 (which started to develop loose gravel from the patched hole) I was 3rd wheel. We started the sprint this time right after the last turn and kept our same positions for the finish-3rd.
Richton Park: Me and this course have history. Last year on the last lap I caught the pack sleeping on the bell lap. I exerted all my energy and got off the front by myself. In turn 2 I touched my inside pedal shooting me upright and off the course. The pack finally passed me as I got back on the course. Oh well that was last year. Same course and the start was on time. Had problems clipping in again, but had good starting position. The pace was fast, but I could deal with it. I took an early flier in an effort to string things out early and settled in. Two guys were doing much of the pulling and not asking for any help. I could see these guys were strong, but didn't mind them pooping themselves out. With 5 to go the racing begins in earnest. Luckily I didn't get myself boxed in and each time I was able to get close to the front. On the last lap I moved up on the back stretch a little and on the outside between turn 3 and 4. I was about 5 back after the final turn. The sprint started far back and I was able to come in 3rd. Tony