Thursday, April 29, 2010

Race Report: Turtle Pond 2010 cat 3: GG Bavolar Works The Break

The real race report is on the team blog. I have just a few short comments. Nonsense really.



My job was to either get into an early move, and then if the early stuff failed to stick, sit in and sprint. As always, if we got a man in a promising break, I'd control the front, breaking up any chase efforts and sitting on and thwarting bridge efforts.


As Gary states in his report, I expected Embrocation's Rapha celebrities to be a factor in the race, as both PVB and Mr. Dunn can climb well and have deep hardman credentials.

My early moves didn't stick, despite having some good company on a couple of attacks.

After what I decided would be my last attack of the early laps, a big group went up the road. It had over 10 riders and representatives of most of the stronger teams present, CL Noonan, NEBC, Threshold and 2 Svelte riders. I found Gary and asked him to bridge to the move. He jumped and succeeded in getting into the group.

At this point, there was confusion at the front of the peloton. With all of the strong teams represented up the road, no one was willing to pull. The pace slowed considerably. PVB and Jeremy Dunn drifted to the front and I told them that it was their job to chase. They laughed me off, pointing out the the move was still in sight. Since I am good friends with PVB, I explained that I was serious, that the move was likely to stick. I was hoping that he'd take the hint and try to bridge up to it while that was still a possibility. He didn't. PVB and Jeremy spent the rest of the race fruitlessly attempting to get away (every chase was quickly marked and neutralized) from a slow peloton, trying to get a paceline started and grumbling about how much the situation sucked.

Since the break was gone, I started resting for the sprint for 13th. Man, I really wanted to finish 13th. I still chased down bridge attempts and remained vigilant at the front, but I sagged on the big climb, allowing myself to drift from the very front of the group to the very back, sometimes even loosing contact, knowing that someone would work with me to get back onto the peloton within minutes.

On the last lap I made arrangements with Dave Montes to stick with me on the climb, so that he could pace me back to the main group when I allowed myself to get dropped. Uneventfully, Dave and I got back into contact and went to the front so that we'd be in position when things started heating up.

Spaits made a few promising attempts to attack the main group in the last lap. At one point he got away with a small group that included Jeremy Dunn. They took a wrong turn, or failed to turn and thus lost their advantage.

A few attacks were reeled in. Nick Mashburn worked the front, chasing moves down. He was clearly working for Svelte sprinter Mike Sabatini, as Sabs was sitting in while Nick kept the group together.

The sprint was textbook. Svelte and CB were at the front, ramping up the pace in the final 2k. I had instructed my teammates, Dave and Spaits, that all I needed from them was to keep me out of the wind up until we were done with the fast descent and inside the 1k to go mark, which they slayed themselves to do (Thanks Dave and Matt). I then marked Sabs's wheel, tucked in and waited, as Mashburn was giving him a fast leadout from the front of the group, that put me in 3rd wheel with 1/2 a kilo to go.

Since the sprint was slightly uphill, I waited an extra few seconds before jumping. When I did go, I had the road to myself. I felt like I was going to win 13th place. Then, as I came screaming toward the finish, I noticed that there was a traffic jam of pace and follow cars stopped on the finish line, in my path of travel. I sat up. As much as I wanted 13th place, I didn't think that it was worth crashing over. I coasted in 15th.

GG stayed in the break and got 8th. Gary has been having a rough season on top of his thwarted cross season, so I was glad that he was able to get into a successful move. While the team may have been hoping for a better result, I am happy that most of our race went according to plan and that Gary affirm that he can hang with the tough guys of cat 3 New England road races.

9 comments:

plum said...

This is the third Turtle Pond race report I've read. Uncanny and downright disturbing that every one includes a detail involving lack of race organization that jeopardized rider safety.

http://www.jls.cx/archives/000383.html

http://hilljunkie.blogspot.com/2010/04/so-thats-what-back-of-pack-looks-like.html

pvb said...

For once, I was patient and the consequence was that the race was over 5 miles in. As you stated that I grumbled, "that situation sucked!"

RMM said...

Plum:

You got it right, the finish was pretty sketchy. While I agree that race organization contributed to the unsafe conditions, I left it unstated in the post.

PVB:

Yeah, that situation sucked for you. Considering that there were a half dozen of us at any given time trying to frustrate your efforts, you handled it rather well, maintaining your composure.

Cary said...

The best part of this report was the updated PVB Rapha profile. No offense, though. Why am I always out of town when the Dunner is here? Next time get more than 1 guy in a 12man break!

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