Monday, August 17, 2009

Zen and the Art of Passing

Sunday was a pretty packed day for the date, race, and flight.
Jen and Tegan headed out to a play date early and took the day "off" of racing. Tegan still managed to skirt a nap...grr.
I headed over to the WORS race in River Falls to do battle with the great group of guys over there. It was a nice hard start that sorted things out, which saw a group of 6 of us off the front. Soon after, Nathan Guerrera had a flat leaving 5 of us: Mark, Jesse, Mike, TJ, and myself. We rode together for most of the rest of the race. The MO was to hammer in any of the labeled "passing sections" and then take it easy in the singletrack. We all had each other marked and the one small climb on the course was taken seriously each time. Laps 3 and 4 were passing fests... for the most part, people were great about it, but it is no fun for us or them when 5 of us have to sneak by. On the final lap, I thought I was holding the right cards. To that point, I had been under very little pressure, but TJ put in a ferocious was pretty sweet except for the fact that I just barely couldn't hang on. Mark was the only one to match him, with Jesse popping and Mike holding my wheel. I knew that if TJ and Mark got lapped riders between us it would be almost impossible to real them in....with a 5-10 second gap in that first field, it happened. After an a comp racer endod in front of us on one of the bridges and a few other rough passes, I told Mike that they were gone. We went fast from then on but didn't have the advantage of yelling "race leaders" coming, which garners a little more respect. I didn't know what to yell..."chasers" ?? =) Mike put in a nice little move about a minute from the finish line that put 5 seconds on me..he claims that Matter did it to him the year prior. I am getting someone with that next year! The finishing shoot was a dangerous S-bend so I don't think a sprint would have been a good idea anyway.
The race was what I expected and I had fun. My constructive criticism would be to run the experts and comps at different times with fields that large and laps that short (maybe elites on Sat afternoon)...or be sure that the laps are longer. With 4 or better yet 3 longer laps, the passing is much more reasonable.
I couldn't stay for awards, as I had to hurry home, catch a shower, and head to MSP for a flight out to Longmont CO. If I was a "real" pro, I would be coming out here to ride, but I am out here on business deploying a new metrology for hard drives. I would tell you what the metrology does but then I would have to ....make sure you don't tell Western Digital=)

Thanks to the WORS organizers and volunteers for inviting us over. You guys and girls do a bang up job. Maybe we can return the favor next year at Afton=)


Nathan Guerra said...

Great race Brendan! Tons of fun having all you MN guys to duke it out with.

Eric O. said...

I say Spirit for the battle next year. With 50min a lap there won't be much traffic. Or if we really wanted to punish them...Afton.