Keeley Reports: Hillsboro, SuperCrit & Great Dane #2

Hillsboro Report:
Sorry for the delay, I have been struggling with whether to report on races where I do not perform as well as I should so as to avoid the incessant “woulda, shoulda, coulda,” “this chump blocked my wheel” and other negative things that race through your mind as you look to pin your poor performance or lack of fitness on anyone on two wheels that was within a mile said race. So, instead I will happily report that ABD was represented well in the 3/4 race. Jason Addante, Ben DeMong, Chris Karsten, (new CAT 3 squad member and rockstar) Gabe Looker and self took to the line. Weather was nice, wind was not fierce, but would still be a factor. I ended up at the rear at the start and stayed there for the first lap. Bad idea, I paid heavily with several huge bridge efforts that would, after a mere 25 of the 66 miles of the race, be the end of me. I was finally unable to bridge and was quickly joined by Jason. He was able to press on with a Vitaminwater rider and they motored ahead as I struggled. I decided that I needed to get on that or suffer a long lonely ride back. I caught back on, we picked up about a dozen other riders before the end of the 2nd lap, about 8 of which bailed on us at the start/finish. We would pick up about 6 other guys on the last lap and had a nice little battle for the finish. I took no part in it, as I was clinging on all day to our little pack. Jason had the legs to attack the group and finished 3rd in group sprint, taking 38th, I strolled in 15 seconds later for 41st. Gabe Looker would stay with the main field all day and finish 13th overall.

SuperCrit Report:
Supercrit was more of a Super Circuit, but REALLY nice course nonetheless. The turns were fast, the road wide and smooth and the facilities amazing. Raced the Masters 1,2,3 with Ben Demong and the 3/4’s with Ben and Jason Addante.

Masters race was small, only about 30 people took to the start. I knew this might be trouble as I looked around and saw large, angry cat 1 and cat 2 masters racers and lots of wind. Started on the line ( I think the whole field did too since the road was so wide) and stayed near the front for the first lap and a half. The attacks came hot and heavy and (in spite of my strategy to save myself for the 3/4 race next) I attempted to bridge to anything that even resembled a break. With the pack so small and the engines so big, it would take more than a half-baked break attempt to get off. Finally about 1/2 through the race a Lucas Oil rider got off with another rider and they built a 10 second lead, but remained in sight, where they would be for the remainder of the race. I stayed near the front and watched Lucas Oil chase down bridge upon bridge made by each of the 5 Bicycle Heaven riders in the race. It was pretty impressive, but not something that I wanted to get involved in (it looked way too painful). Hung in for the field sprint, thought I was in a good spot to ride some wheels to the front in the final stretch, but a 30 mph tailwind tends to negate the draft. In the 3/4’s there were about 75 riders, lots of firepower from XXX and Vitaminwater, so thought that a break would go and stick. I had incurred a pin about 2/3 or the way through the masters race so had to hit the wheel pit, change wheels and then climb over the retaining wall to the start. As a result, I started in the back of the pack, not too ideal, but ok if no breaks went early. Our loose plan was to be smart and all 3 of us get up to the front and alternate jumping on break attempts. Took me until about 15 minutes into the race to finally get to the top 20 at which time a break was off and running. Basically spent the rest of the race trying to stay near the front for the field sprint. I was second wheel with about a kilo to go and the guy in front of me ran out of steam just in time for the pack to surge around us at about 4mph faster than us. Had a dicey last turn, sprinted to 25th, Jason was 14th (1st place cat 4 in the race-to go with his 2nd in the M4/5 race earlier).

Great Dane #2 Report
Raced Masters 3/4 race and the CAT 3 race. M3/4 was about 40 strong 10 of which were from Brazen Dropouts/Chrono-metro. Seeing that, I knew they would (if they were wise) be active. They took turns attacking in the first 15 minutes, each time getting chased down. One such attempt I ended bridging to, go there, saw that there were 4 of us, 2 of which were from Brazen with about 5 secs on the field. I figured that they had been doing a decent job of moving to the front and fizzling the pack out when they were making break attempts so this could work. I pulled through just in time to hear someone say “never mind, we are getting caught.” Turned and saw 3 guys from their team on the front chasing us down. I made another bridge attempt a few minutes later to a doomed group and decided that I would be wise to sit on for the field sprint and stop chasing anything that twitched. A guy got off solo with 3 to go, built about 15 secs. on us and was caught about 1/2 into the last lap. I was in a poor position moving towards the final, downhill turn into the uphill 200m finish. I decided to put in a big effort to move forward and not cut everyone off in the last turn. Came out of the turn about 10th wheel, sprinted up took 6th. In the CAT 3 race there were about 35 riders. Race began fairly easy for the first 10 minutes and then ramped up. There were several early break attempts. I bridged up to one with an Endeavour rider (I think) just in time for them to sit up and let the field come back. Did the same thing at about the 25 minute mark, bridging with the same rider no less, with the same results. Drifted back to the pack, a break formed of about 7 guys that was about 10 seconds up the road. The pack worked hard to close it down, splitting at one point. About a lap later, we were back together and I leisurely drifted towards and through the front of the pack. I was in the gutter, leaving no room for anyone to draft and noticed that the pack was riding easy on the opposite side of the road. Decided to give it a go, put about 25m on the field by the time I came up near the s/f line (all the while praying for a few tt guys to come help). As I approached the s/f I noticed that 2 riders were about 1/2 across to me and felt a glimmer of hope just in time to hear the prime bell. Sat up, field came back together and worked to the front for the prime. Took 2nd to former ABD’er Alex Bowden in a charge that began too late. A few laps later John Tomlinson from XXX went solo (as he had twice earlier), was quickly joined by a couple of pairs of riders and with 3 to go it was apparent that was the move to be in. It contained 7 riders and nobody in our pack seemed eager to chase as they either had a teammate in the break or were saving themselves for the sprint. I again was in a poor position with 1/2 lap to go, made a hard charge after turn 3 to move up to 5th wheel and reintegrate with the pack prior to the fast turn 4. I sat on a XXX rider’s wheel for about 3 pedal strokes out of the turn, jumped into my 12 and buried my head. I saw that I was shedding people from my wheel and thought I had the field, but was passed about 10m from the line by some rather large, rather fast dude to take 9th overall…in reviewing the finish video (my wife always takes one so that when I tell her I got top 10 in a race she can replay it and show me that I was in fact 45th or whatever), I noticed that the guy who passed me was turning about 120 rpm, myself about 80. Uphill finish I should have made sure I was in a gear I could spin quicker, but lesson learned. I stuck around long enough to see Whites and Andy Skeen tackle the P1/2 race. Within 10 minutes, the field split in 2, all 3 ADB guys on the right end. Within a few more laps about 7 guys had established a break and the field was back together. Andy manning the field, 2 Whites in the break. We stuck around to watch them lap the field, but had to attend a social engagement that evening, so had to read later that the “V” went to Ryan White. Always cool to watch the Geargrinder guys tear up a field! Till next time……

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