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Racing is fun! Long race report.(6 posts)

Racing is fun! Long race report.Pack Meat
May 12, 2002 8:07 PM
This is why I ride thriugh the winter, today is why I spend so much time and money on this sport, and I had to work not to come in last. Zed you missed a good one.

Sara Kay circuit race was the usual disappointment with the required crash on the last corner of the last lap. Today was the brand new Highlands Ranch crit that I wasn't looking forward to at all. It finally started raining last night here in Co, we've been dry, and it was damn cold. I woke up to the same weather, cold and wet. I actually drank last night cause I had no intention of racing. Called my buddy around 11 and offered to drive him to the race but I had no real intention of racing. Got to the course (still wet and cold and hanging a little) The organizer was practically begging people to race, the weather resulted in a very low turn out. What the hell I'll do 5 laps and get shot out the back. Soon as I signed up the sun came out. My team, RRV, was well represented with about 5 strong riders in a small field of about 30. Monsoon, Casati, Rogue Wave were also there with some fire power. By the start of my race the course had dried. 1 mile loop, 4 wide corners, 60 minutes, slight grade up to the finish. From the gun guys were attacking off the front, a break would form, RRV and monsoon would try to block, the break would get caught, another attack, break, block, caught, attack, etc until 25 mins to go. I told the local jr superstar on monsoon (the kid is 15, 6', about 145 won the National crit an tt champs last year and he can crush most of you) I told him that if he could get into a break with an RRV guy it would stick beacause RRV and Monsoon would be blocking. He did, it stuck, and the race got a lot easier. We really slowed it down. They hung out there with about a 10 sec gap that nobody could bridge cause as soon as they tried they had somebody in red and white on their butts. With 5 laps to go there was a huge surge. I got to the front with a team mate and tried to control things and it worked. With 2 to go I was blown and slid to the back of the pack. Nearly got taken out when somebody clipped a pedal in front of me (nice save) on the last corner and had to sprint my butt off so i didn't finish dead last. Unfortunately the RRV rider in the break is not the greatest sprinter but he did great job against 2 Monsoon guys. Monsoon 1 and 2, RRV 3, 4, 5. The teamwork that most of the teams showed was outstanding. I always hear people say that teamwork never works in Cat 3s but it did today. Almost everybody had a huge grin at the end of the race. Even the teams that got shut down enjoyed it even though they were frustrated. I think the independents were wishing they had some teamates to help them out. It was so much fun jumping on dudes wheels that were attempting to bridge to the break and just watching them give up when they would turn around and see the uniform, knowing they weren't getting any help.

A race like this is why I keep riding.
Good report PMlonefrontranger
May 13, 2002 5:27 AM
I did Highlands too; it poured for my race. I was happy as a clam, won some money, got beat at the line by a 16-year-old.

Why, why, WHY does every friggin' field crash on the last lap at Sara Kay??? The &*$%%#@ course isn't that difficult. If you think the 3's were bad, you should have seen the pileup in the Cat 4 race and the carnage in the Men's 35+.
Accident InvestigationPack Meat
May 13, 2002 6:36 AM
I believe the reason for the crashes on that corner of Sara Kay can be directly attributed to apathy on the part of the organizer. There were a number of crashes in the same spot last year. The root cause is as follows: The straight away into the finish is long enough to allow for a good sprint after the last corner. So everybody tries to recover going up the short hill, when people recover they bunch up. Then all bunched up they attempt to go through the corner that is deceptively tight six abreast. It sure seems like you go from two lanes to one because the island is there but it is two lanes, the median just makes it a really sharp corner. To eliminate crashes the corner needs to smoothed into more a curve. It would also help if somebody actually led the sprint out so that it would be strung out going into the last corner.
downhill cornerlonefrontranger
May 13, 2002 7:28 AM
I know the last corner is a major problem. Wide to narrow always is, no solution for that but to switch direction or better yet, move the finish line halfway up the hill, which a responsible promoter would have done. I have an axe to grind with that promoter anyway for the fact that the Women 4/35+ is run concurrent with the Men 35+ each year, with predictable results. This year our field of two dozen or so got caught trying to contest a decent-sized money prime sprint through the final 2 corners as 80 guys were riding through us at warp speed. Imagine the angst THAT created.

The crashes I was referring to were all in the downhill corner, which is stupid because it's wide and not that difficult even at high speed. All the crashes I witnessed there were a simple case of riders letting the downhill speed overwhelm them, then pinching in too shallow and starting to corner way too late, which leaves you nowhere to go but over the curb on the exit as the road narrows down. You've got six lanes, use 'em all! You can safely corner through there at 40 mph+ by riding the line out to the right-hand curb before the entry (watch the Pro/1/2 guys do it), and also not trying to fit through it eight guys wide (as the Cat 4s always seem to attempt).
I agreePack Meat
May 13, 2002 7:41 AM
There is no reason to crash on the downhill corner except for not knowing how to handle a bike. A change in location of the finish would work.

BTW Wasn't the Highlands Ranch course a blast, well laid out, fast and fun.
Yes, Highlands Ranch islonefrontranger
May 13, 2002 12:09 PM
a really cool racecourse. Did a lot of "postage stamps" in the Midwest, would like to see more crit courses like this and fewer like Sara Kay and AST. The type of climb that's in that Highlands Ranch course favors me.