Aug 4, 2003 4:27 PM
|Great result for your first shot at 'Toona! Looks like you liked Saturday's course after all. Now are you glad I didn't describe it to you in full gory detail? Did your neck get sore from descending for that long, that fast?
Someday I'm going back and do that race. When I do I'm gonna be loaded for bear.
|oh dear, I'm famous ... (race report inside)||weiwentg|
Aug 5, 2003 5:13 AM
|yeah, it was good. nothing like that in MI!
the race was like this: climb up Horseshoe Curve, descend into town, do the mountain again, descend into town again for the nice, long, wide, finishing straight. hints: unless you climb Alpe d'Huez with the lead group, you want a 25. I came in with a 25, and I'll look into getting a 27 or lower next year. the initial climbs leading to the K/QOM line were doable, but they were still like nothing you'll ever find in Michigan. the K/QOM line is up the worst bit of the mountain. I was standing and mashing my 25, and going at 6 mph and nearly maximum heart rate. I figured that if it didn't look like I was going to get at least 3rd for the KOM (they only took the results of one KOM "sprint", on the first time up the mountain), I'd forget it entirely and concentrate on the finish. people started dropping off well before the KOM line, but I held my place in the front group, about 6 wheels back. two people went at about 1km to the KOM line. I went after them, and someone went behind me. that was the worst climb ever. I was at nearly max heart rate and barely moving. the guy who started behind me passed me, then I passed another guy. I sensed that I could maybe get second, but I missed by a wheel. we regrouped after the KOM sprint - if you call walking pace a sprint. there's a flat section at the top, followed by a pretty straightforward descent. Susan said not to hit the brakes and just go down it. we hammered on the flat, and by then there were about 30-40 riders in the front group (100 started). we all stuck together on the descent, and then began tackling the climbs again. I stuck to the front of the group. I know a few people dropped off. one guy soloed off near the KOM line. I tried to help chase him, but all I managed to do was gap everyone else. about 15-20 riders made it to the top together, with one man off the front. we organized the chase on the flat, into the wind, but he had a minute on us. he held us off throughout the descent, and most of the way into town. once we got him back in sight, though, he was done. that was a damn gutsy move, and he won at least a moral victory, but we reeled him in. the sprint into town was ferocious. I didn't look but we must have been going near 30. I just tried to stay to the front but in the pack, since I'd taken some pulls trying to bring our breakaway back. I was about 8th wheel when we were on the finishing straight - it was about 12 blocks to the finish from there. no skittishness here, everyone in that group knew what they were doing. Roland Haarbink of Squadra Coppi - one of the biggest teams along with NCVC in the men's 4 race - went off the front with 800 meters to go, and he held the pack off. he deserved to. I got to the very front, and sprinted in for 5th, just behind David Barr of ADA (who did pretty well in the MI state RR, and was working pretty hard at the front as well).
I ended in 9th place on GC, and figured it was a pretty good day.
|it got better than that, though...||weiwentg|
Aug 5, 2003 5:15 AM
|I assume you read the results off the Toona site, which didn't include the men's 4 crit.
for the crit, the forecast said storms, and I figured that if I could get at least 1 point in 12th place (points go 12 deep in the crit), I'd keep my 9th place on GC. there was a shower before our start, and the roads were pretty slippery. there were nearly 100 riders in the cat 3 men's field, and lots of them went down even though their race was dry. there are two pretty hairy corners in the crit, and the locals thoroughly hay-baled one in anticipation of the carnage. for our race, I lined up at the very front, figuring that I'd help string the pack out. some idiot barged up to me, and it turned out to be one of the guys from Squadra Coppi that I'd gotten to know at our hostel. he said that his plan was to attack hard from the gun and get things strung out a bit - perfect. I pretty much figured that Dave Barr would come along for that move. sure enough, our Coppi friend went like a rabbit. I was right behind him, and we got a gap on the field pretty fast. I think they caught up to us at one point, but we definitely had a gap after 4 laps. there's a small hill after the first turn, and I took to the front there. David Barr was there, and I knew the race leader was there too - they give leaders' and KOM jerseys. I led the way down the back straight into the first chicane turn. there was a lot of rough pavement going in. I heard a crash, didn't look back as I took the next two turns, and then I heard another crash as I cleared the next chicane leading into the finishing straight. I looked back and saw absolutely no one behind me. I waited for someone to bridge up to me - I wasn't about to do 15 laps all by myself. I cleared the finishing straight, took the first turn, went up the hill, and then turned onto the back straight. at the top of the back straight, just before the descent leading into the first chicane, I saw the peloton just clearing the second turn onto the back straight. I figured I'd just ride tempo and see what happened. when you have that kind of gap, you're morally obligated to do something about it. the announcer started mispronouncing my name (he at least got the club right). spectators started yelling. one guy on the back straight started giving me time checks. when I heard something like 60 seconds, I figured I'd give it a shot. good publicity for the team, at the very least.
I was wrong - he was yelling SIXTEEN seconds, and I only realized that with less than 10 laps to go. but it seemed the gap was holding constant, and I knew that everyone's legs were shot after 3 days of racing, plus I was taking the corners very well. a lot of people in the pack ended up crashing - I had figured that if you didn't take the turns single file, there would be carnage. I thought that if I could hold that gap, they might give up. they didn't quite give up, but I actually held that gap most of the race. the spectators were yelling furiously. the announcer said something about him not being sure if I could make it, but that I definitely deserved to win the race. I pedalled harder and stayed in my aero position longer. 5 to go, and I wondered if I could actually win it - I started thinking that if I could, this would be the ride of my life. the pack was starting to close on me, though, and with 2 to go, they were nearly on me, except that I still held the gap. I'm informed that at that point, people started looking at each other wondering who was going to work. I snuck a glance in the last lap, and I could see them. someone tried to bridge up to me then. I hit the finishing straight, and the crowd started screaming. the guy who tried to bridge drew up alongside me, just half a wheel behind me. we hit the slight rise leading up to the finish. I stood and gave it everything I had, and left him behind.
man, that criterium was the last race I expected to win. lucky I ate a lot of pasta.
|Congrats and great report...||biknben|
Aug 5, 2003 5:59 AM
|I felt like I was there. Glad you were able to hold off the bridger at the finish.
So where were you in the GC after taking the crit?
|btw, I ended in 4th.||weiwentg|
Aug 5, 2003 5:05 PM
|forgot I deleted that line (copied and pasted the report from my club website). that was a nice bonus. I'd rather that the guys in the break didn't crash, though. that probably sucked (Dave, you had to drive back with road rash on the butt, no?)|
|crash and burn||dave11|
Aug 6, 2003 4:47 AM
|yeah that sucked. I was feeling great too. but I just couldn't corner in the wet.
It was a painful ride home.
Any idea how I finished GC? For some reason there are no results online.
Nice work on 4th place, very impressive.
|crash and burn||weiwentg|
Aug 6, 2003 5:59 AM
|didn't really catch rest of the results, sorry! that seems like a bit of a screw up on their part.|
|you friggin animal. congratulations. I've been dying to find||bill|
Aug 5, 2003 7:00 AM
|out what happened on Sunday -- the website includes all results but Sunday's Cat 4 and the overall Cat 4 (WHY?!). I couldn't hang around on Sunday, but I don't think that I could have spoiled your fun if I had stayed. We wanted to give Roland a chance, and I gladly would have burned myself out chasing you down, but, you've got legs, my friend.
Sounds as if my teammate Gonzalo ended up giving you your first leg up -- all you have to do to make Gonzalo happy is to give him some food, so, I think you owe him a muffin or something.
When you introduced yourself to me in the pack, I hope you didn't think that I was less than interested in making your acquaintance. I just wasn't breathing all that well right then, which was a bad sign, because we hadn't really started to climb yet.
Good job, Weiwen. It was a tough field -- you should be very, very proud of yourself.
Aug 5, 2003 9:50 AM
|they didn't do a prize presentation for the lowly 4s, so we got some pics ourselves. I'm in the center. Roland is on the right (for anyone who isn't on Squadra Coppi, he's 3rd GC, did a kilo TT to take the second stage). Franky, the GC winner, is on the left. my friend wasn't used to the camera, so the photo could have been a bit better.
Bill, I'll feed Gonzalo next time I see him. yes, he did set that move up. how did he do in the end? my friend said he dropped out. like I said in the other thread, we were both starting the climb and were both short on breath, so I didn't think you were rude at all. thanks,
Aug 5, 2003 4:45 PM
|I got the same picture via e-mail today. I recently joined the Skylands Cycling club and was sent info about Frank's win including that shot.
Great result, congrats again.
Aug 5, 2003 4:53 PM
|I emailed that shot to Skylands' president. maybe I'll see you at the next TDT? :)|
|dude way to kick ass!||lonefrontranger|
Aug 6, 2003 5:36 AM
|holy cow, I didn't even know about your crit result... that's awesome! Congratulations again, you earned it.
Great report and incredible photos. That one of the 3s crashing is one of the coolest pics I've ever seen (not for the poor dudes crashing, natch). The Diet Rite gal (Kori Kelly) in the points jersey pic is someone I've been racing against this year.
4th GC is a superb result for your first stab at TDT. Lisa Matlock, a girlfriend of mine who got fourth GC in the women's 4 race a couple years back when we did TDT together rode it this year as a stagieur / composite rider for T-Mobile, and placed in the top 30 despite riding domestique duties all week.
Sounds like you're having a good year. 'Toona is probably THE single hardest race in the U.S. to get a good result in any field - all the local superstars from 'round the country in every category come out to do it.
You have got to come out to Colorado to race sometime. Saturday's RR is 49 miles with 4200' of climbing. Much of the gain comes while going up and down a lot of super steep +/- 1K extreme pains in the butt on a partial dirt road that climbs the canyon west of Horsetooth Reservoir in Ft. Collins. I anticipate much fear and suffering on my part and probably another distinguished lanterne rouge effort in the Open field.
Aug 8, 2003 8:03 AM
|all that tactical advice you've dispensed over the years? it's paid off :)
see you at Toona someday. I'd love to come down to CO, except that it's quite a trip.
|Rona-Esker on the podium for the team prize||weiwentg|
Aug 5, 2003 5:40 AM
|men's 3 field in the corner of death||weiwentg|
Aug 5, 2003 5:45 AM
|photo taken from just behind the hay bales. the locals informed me that they are pretty well utilized. on the last lap, I ended up taking that corner in my faux aero bar position (wrists on bar tops near the stem). taking it three abreast, as cat 4s are wont to do, would have been a death sentence.|
|women's 3 field in the corner of death||weiwentg|
Aug 5, 2003 5:47 AM
|the lady in the red jersey is the KOM winner, friend of my teammate's. I'd love to come back and get that jersey someday.|
|more of the women's 3 field in the corner of death||weiwentg|
Aug 5, 2003 5:48 AM
|the other corner||weiwentg|
Aug 5, 2003 9:28 AM
|not as much carnage as the corner of death (the one with the haybales that lead to the finishing straight, which thank heavens was straight and wide). this one, though, was rough and hairy, and the road narrowed considerably going into it. you'd want the field strung out here, except that there was a descent leading into it. can't have everything, I guess. this is the men's 3 (I think). if it was, that break got reeled in.|
|the aforementioned descent...||weiwentg|
Aug 5, 2003 9:30 AM
|...with the pack in hot pursuit.|
|nice shot; I'd say he's exceeded his adhesion limits nm||DougSloan|
Aug 7, 2003 6:22 AM
|men's 3 field going for the sprint||weiwentg|
Aug 5, 2003 5:50 AM
|Genevieve Jeanson, the next Eddy Merckx||weiwentg|
Aug 5, 2003 9:21 AM
|LFR, if you go, BRING A PEN AND SOMETHING TO AUTOGRAPH. there was practically no one around for the pro women's prize presentation. I, unfortunately, brought no pen. I did bring my digital camera. I forget what prize this is, probably the QOM. I could easily be wrong.|
|points jersey prize||weiwentg|
Aug 5, 2003 9:22 AM
Aug 5, 2003 9:25 AM
|was rooting for Jeanson. Bessette is an animal too, though. and Jeanson has a long career ahead of her.|
|masters 35+ was won in a solo break also||weiwentg|
Aug 5, 2003 9:32 AM
|less nail-biting than my finish. this is Ramon Benitez. he took off with 15 laps to go. he got over a minute on the field at maximum.|
|these two chased||weiwentg|
Aug 5, 2003 9:33 AM
|it didn't work. I'm not sure how they ended up, but there was no masters 45+. these guys were probably on the 35+ side of the field, then.
can you see the pain? :)
|that a Monex rider?||No_sprint|
Aug 5, 2003 9:57 AM
|Monex, maybe.........Wordin, no||lanterne rouge|
Aug 7, 2003 1:03 PM
|It can't be Wordin, you would see his huge teethed Gomer Pyle grin (or grimmace?) about 1/2 mile away. :)|
|Nice work Sunday!!!!||dave11|
Aug 5, 2003 12:03 PM
|I am just bummed I crashed and couldn't have stuck it out with you. We really could have put some time on with two of us. Terrible day for me, awesome one for you.
I have been trying to figure out how I finished in GC, but they don't have 4 race results on-line. You didn't see by chance how I finished did you? We had to leave right after the race.
I got a couple pics of you in front, I'll pass one on at the next race.
-Dave B., Ada Bike