Sunday, November 1, 2009

Race Report: Canton Cup 2009--Elites

$750 paid 10 deep draws a crowd. While most fast riders may know that someone fast like Justin Spinelli will show up to take first, they think they are fast enough to at least make their registration fee back. There were about 40ish fast dudes on the starting line. Everywhere I looked was a dude who's definitely faster than me. And even the rare rider that I have beaten before, had also beaten me. On the start line, I was more concerned with not finishing DFL than finishing in the money.

Also, this race was declared as the LCC unofficial championships, since it is one of the few races where all of us were able to race in the same category. Lining up to contest the LCC Cup were: Kyle Smith and James Morrison (both of whom made the foolhardy decision to ruin their chances for LCC glory by racing the B race prior to the elite), PVB, Colin Holmes Murphy, Scott "Rosey" Rosenthal, Cary "The Mantis" Fridrich and honorary LCC member, Colin Holmes Reuter. While we had a quorum, we were upset that LCC founder Yasushi was not present to officiate the proceedings. Apparently he was caught up in an anime nightmare that involved costumes, carbon fiber and may or may not have involved hallucinogenics.

Canton a grass crit punctuated by a few sharp rocks and roots to flat your tires. And it was windy as hell. Group riding is key if you were going to achieve a good result. Either that or ridiculous Watts.

I had a good start, for me anyway. Which means shit in an elite race. Dudes are fast. I was probably tenth going into corner one. I fell in behind Reuter and mucked it up for his cameras by getting inside of Peter Sullivan's wheel-folding-crash which Colin was right on top of. Then Colin and I fought it out for a few corners until he got a gap and a wheel and I got relegated to no-man's-land.

Justin Spinelli was having mechanical issues; we'd all pass him while he fixed his issue, only to have him come storming by a minute later. This happened at least twice. Getting on his wheel was not an option. He eventually pitted and finished second to Justin Lindine.

Cary and both Holmes's were up the road. Morrison came by and I hopped on his wheel. He took a pull that lasted like a lap and then pulled out, waving us through as he pulled off the course. In retrospect, I think that he knew that he was pulling out and he was attempting to pace me up to the 10 man train barely visible up the road. Thanks James.

Thom Parsons raced in costume. I'll post photos as they become available. I only mention it because at one point he almost caught me. Nothing motivates like potential humiliation. While everyone knows that Thom is fast, no one wants to get pimped by the dude in a costume. I dug deep and got away...at least that's how I remember it. Maybe he passed me and I shut it out similarly to how adults are often unable to remember traumatic childhood events.

I passed a few riders with mechanicals, mostly flats if I had to guess. PVB, CCC, and Guenter Hofer, all of whom would have put minutes into me had they better luck. I always feel guilty passing fast dudes after they mechanical; I sheepishly apologized as I passed.

I spent the rest of the race soloing in the wind. And it was seriously windy. I literally 10-20 seconds behind Mike Wissell for 4-5 laps with no one behind me. I rode hard but seemed to make no headway. Wissell had already rode the 3/4 race earlier, so I was exhibiting extra suckage by not catching him. For most of the race, there was no one on sight behind me, which made it hard to keep the effort up at times. Matt Green slowly closed in on me. I overcooked an easy corner, picked up a shrubbery and lost enough time that Green got close enough to strike.

I got his wheel when he came around and we caught Wissell. The 3 of us attacked each other repeatedly in the last lap, which made for some exciting racing after riding solo in the wind for an hour. Green, RMM, Wissell in that order.

LCC Results:

1st Murphy
2nd The Mantis
3rd Rooter
4th RMM
5th Rosey
6th PVB (flat tire)
DNF James Morrison
DNF Kyler

Verbal reports indicate that my LCC rivals up the road were smart enough to take shelter in a various groups. I've taken note and will race smarter next year. Good job everyone. We should do this more often.

4 comments:

Cary said...

CHM killed it. Man to be feared at NoHo, right alongside winner of the last Verge cat 3 race...

RMM said...

Cary:

While CHM and I surely appreciate the compliment, we are aware that your comment is part of your constant effort to draw attention away from yourself while you slowly creep up on the ultimate prize: the official New England Sandbagger's Jersey.

I think NoHo is yours or CHM's for the taking. Work on those starts.

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