Debacle at DaVinci / Monrovia TT

May 21st, 2006 by Chris Kroll

DaVinci Crit – Saturday

This weekend was the opening of “The DaVinci Code” movie. On Saturday night my son Stephen and I went to it and had a grand time. Earlier in the day I had another “DaVinci” experience down in New Albany, IN. A not so grand time…

Tortuga fielded 5 for the Cat 1/2/3 race at the DaVinci Criterium on the downtown streets of this riverside community across from Louisville. Had the bridge crossing the Ohio had a draw to it, we should have hoisted it up, as the Huns from Louisville came across to Indiana and smacked us around silly. Texas Roadhouse reminded everyone that they are the force to be reckoned with in our racing world, as they swept 3 of the top 5 spots in the main event. POD led the way towing 2 of his own along with 2 Dogfish, 1 Nuvo, and others I cannot remember in an attack just several laps into the race. Steve Spanbauer bridged to make it that much more formidable. The break that formed from POD’s charge lapped the field with plenty left on the clock. In typical O’Donnell fashion, Patrick attacked the break as they integrated into the pack. A hard effort by Spanbauer and his Papa Johns mates brought back the attack and things stayed put to the end. The end, of course, was POD winning with Harry Clark in 4th and CT in 5th. Geez, I feel like I’m doing a race report for TRH…

Tortuga? The top turtle was yours truly in 17th place… Ugly, plain ugly…For those number crunchers out there, my HRM data showed an average speed of 25.5 mph on this 8 turn, 0.7 mile course – and that’s me hanging on in the 2nd group that had been lapped…BTW – 40 started, 20 finished. Tough race, folks.

I know my mates are disappointed in their own and the team’s performance. Perhaps the silver lining in the cloud would be that it’s used as a motivator. Most will tell you that a course such as DaVinci can give even the best rider a bad day…Easy said by someone who finished 17th…

Monrovia TT – Sunday

Clearly feeling the need to punish myself for Saturday’s misdeeds (no excuse for us not being in the break), I ventured to Monrovia to do my first 40K TT this season. Like a surfer searching for the perfect wave, a quick check of the weather Saturday night showed that conditions for Sunday morning’s event were quite promising. Getting up early was easier knowing the drive was a mere 40 mins vs. 2 hrs to my alternative event, the DaVinci RR. Arriving at Monrovia HS there were far less riders than I expected. I believe 15 in total took part, including Tortuga Cat 3 Adam Fryska. Friskie’s virgin ride in the Monrovia series earned him a nice sub hour time of 59:56(?), just sneaking in for an IRS t-shirt. Nice job, Adam! Low time of the day went to Kurt Spoerle, who put in a PR and the fastest time in a good couple of years at 52:54. Man, that’s fast. I ended up with a 56:15 – I’ll take it considering the efforts from Saturday’s race and the sneaking wind that showed up right at the start. I’ll continue to search for the perfect wave…


Eagle Creek Traditional Crit

May 7th, 2006 by Chris Kroll

Cat 3 report:

Parrish back on Podium

Congratulations to Scott Parrish for a well deserved 2nd place in the Cat 3 event. The venue bodes well for the folically gifted one as he won the Cat 4 event in 2005. After a mid season crash at the District Crit last season, Scott has been working to find his form and it certainly showed up Saturday. Well done!

Cat 1/2/3 report:

A good sized field of 40 or so (I’m not good with numbers) to start, with Tortuga, Dogfish, a small contingent of Roadhouse, and a sea of red with Bacardi-Nuvo mixed with a multitude of collegiate/independent riders. Daly starts the event and we’re off with Nuvo quickly moving up to the front and Al Senft attacking solo. Al’s dangling out front it seems for the longest time when the group finally reels him in. A few faux moves and finally Jason Sonneborn rolls off the front near the start-finish. I jump from the same side and catch him at the turn, along in tow come a Dogfish guy and 3 other independents. A lap or so later Bennet V. from Nuvo joins and I’m thinking “ah oh….” So it’s two B-Nuvos and the rest of us. We’re working pretty well and with injured Patrick Delisle and Bob Brooks on the sidelines, I’m getting word that John Kelly is coming up. Good news thinks I…I then try slowing the break, and it does come down oh so close, but then bam – back up again. With not long to go and enough time on the field that we won’t be caught, I’m thinking what needs to be done to finish well. With 3 to go and pulling through the group I mention to the strongest independent, a collegiate rider from Colorado, that Bennet will attack with 1.5 to go (thinking Ceraland all over…). He nods in understanding. All set for the finish as I look for support, but guess what? It doesn’t happen. On the last lap our pace comes to a crawl just before the turn leading to the base of the “climb”. At 17 mph Sonneborn launches with Bennet in tow and the Colorado collegian behind him. My sorry butt sits in 6th from this as I’m on the wrong side from where Sonney goes…Up the hill and on it as hard as I can…The Col Collegian takes Bennet at the line and I roll up in 4th. Yes, Horus, I’m a work in progress on the sprint…But I did pick the right stranger as the strong one…

Fireworks afterward

For those witness to our parking lot “celebration” of a top 5 finish in this event, everything is in fine order with our squad. The in-love turtles post event e-mail solidified that we’re clicking along just fine. No worries regarding our gelling as a team. I know some competitors may have been concerned as to our well being. Thanks for your support.

Manning up and getting in the way –

– Chris

Ceraland – no Disneyland

April 16th, 2006 by Chris Kroll

Ugly – the best one word description of the 2006 Ceraland Cat 1/2/3 race. I’m not sure if it would have been better to wear body armor or ear plugs. This certainly was no family event, although there were many times I heard about someone’s mother…

Bob’s race description was accurate, just missing the fine details of the verbage (or garbage) being strewn about the course. Understandably in the heat of battle, and man it was hot (86 degree temps fueled by a huge, fast field of flying testosterone), tempers can flare, but that should be it. Rumors of riders deliberately being bumped off the course and a post-race fist fight are way beyond the passion that should be seen by those competing on two wheels. We’re racing at an amateur level and it should be for fun.

Nonetheless, I had fun. The team rode well, and I heard post race satisfaction mixed with dissatisfaction from the squad, which is a good thing. I also know come race time that Tortuga will speak with our legs, not our mouths, and as the season unfolds it will get louder…

Wednesday Worlds #2 – “Lost In Translation”

April 12th, 2006 by Chris Kroll

Our 2nd edition of the 2006 Worlds was as squirrelly as the prevailing winds this evening, as I title this post for numerous reasons…Calls this afternoon indicate some confusion as to the route selection by our GRC (group ride coordinator) and I end up finding out that the route is 2 laps around Morgan Monroe State Forest, not the Lower Paragon Loop that I had mentioned to a least a half dozen riders during the week. Even at the start of the ride the question came up again; forest loop? or lower Paragon?

Doesn’t matter, really. Both have some good climbs and fast sections; should be a good workout no matter what, right? That is the purpose to the Worlds – if you’re riding back into town from one of these and you’re not spent, that’s your problem, no one elses. I’ll stop there, for I could rant further…

We roll out tonight without any encounter from the local gendarms (a problem last week on a ride for some) and keep it civil as per instructions at Sample Gates. 25- 30 in the group (I’m not good with numbers). I heard “neutral until the Forest” – a bit long I think before revving it up, but I go along with it. Not until North on Old 37 before Anderson Rd do I have yet another translation issue – apparently it was to be neutral up the first hill nearing the “Orchard” – I won’t go into geographical detail. Somehow I find myself chasing after chatting too much in the first 2 miles of the ride – the pace is upped to 25+ and we’re not close to the “revving” point of the ride. Not sure what was up with that, but it did settle down a bit.

Things get stretched out a bit on the first climb as a group of 15 or so push up and along Old 37 entering into the Forest. A select few reach the turn in first, but soon after it regroups and we’re hammering along…We reach Beanblossom hill and head flying down. The Artesian Hammer has warned of utility cuts at the base of the hill and sure enough it’s pretty rough. The group stays together onto Anderson as we head back to Old 37 to end lap one. As we near the end of this section, a sprint unfolds to the imaginary spot that I’ve never been clear for a finish. My next search for translation – where is it? Is it a sign? A pole? A mailbox? That road that intersects Anderson? Anyhow, the pace speeds and a rider sprints lone to this spot…

We continue to roll past and a counter attack occurs, Patrick Delisle (surprise Indy mate of the evening) reacts and I go as well. At the turn onto Old 37 Patrick continues up ahead and I short bridge to him. Heading into the climb Patrick puts down a wicked pace with me in tow along with 2 Little 5’ers and the lone Nuvo of the night, Jason Sonneborn. The 5 of us continue to pull away from the group and we’re gone – into the forest and back down Beanblossom. As we’re nearing Anderson, we spot some of the original group – my next losing of translation – did we lap them? Where did they come from? Odd.

Yes, I am going to conclude this post – We did pull through the group and continue at a solid pace to the imaginary sprint area (spot, place) with Patrick leading out, Sonneborn in tow and myself lying third. Sonney and I did come around Patrick and he claims the mailbox while I claimed the pole beyond. Where is that d&#n sprint line? This is my translation and I’m sticking to it.

Thanks to Patrick for coming down tonight and putting in an awesome effort. I was hanging on for dear life up that climb! Training ride or race, there’s no better feeling than being up in a break with one of your mates.

Next up is Cereland, our first big event of the 2006 season. From what I’ve seen so far, it’s going to be a battle royale.

A New Beginning

March 21st, 2006 by Chris Kroll

Welcome to the Team Tortuga / Big Brothers Big Sisters Blog page – we hope you enjoy this and the many other enhancements to our Website. Endless thanks to Vic Emond for all of his efforts to improve the look, feel, and experience of Team Tortuga’s internet presence. If you haven’t had a chance, check out the photos page – WOW!!! It’s awesome! – Stay tuned for tons of photos to be added.

Along with the website redesign, there will be another enhanced look to Team Tortuga. Our new 2006 team kits are in transit and will soon be donned by all members. Thanks to Sean Bauer’s ever skillful creativity in improving the look of our team clothing. It’s going to be awesome!

What would a new beginning be without new players? I want to publicly thank the former members of Duke/Big Brothers for merging with Tortuga and bringing great leadership, experience, and success to the team. We look forward to a great 2006 season.

Ride hard, be safe, have fun.

– Chris