Well, I tried to post this last night, but evidently the cycling gods not only did not want me to be first across the line yesterday, they also did not want me to be first with the printed word. so here goes effort number 2.
Like the storms that tore thru Indy and other parts of the state Friday night, Saturday’s 1,2,3 race was ferocious. All the staple IRS squads were well represented. Bacardi/Nuvo and Texas Roadhouse were the animators of the race. Tortuga and Dog Fish were active, but clearly not as animated as the two aforementioned teams and that was reflected in the final result.
Congratulations to Bvg of the Bacardi/Nuvo squad for a hard earned win to open the season. Attacks and counters occurred for 54 minutes of racing when a group of 7 finally broke the elastic of the pack. The break contained BvG and Declan Doyle for Bacardi, a TRH rider, John Kelly (JK) of Tortuga, a Dog Fish rider and two others.
BvG, Doyle and the TRH rider escaped the other four with about a lap and a half to go with BvG powering to the line for the solid V. Unfortunately, the 4-some, which included JK, got swallowed up with about 300 meters to go.
The TRH rider took 2nd and Doyle just crossed the line ahead of the hard charging pack, led home by Kevin Atkisson of TRH in 4th and K-Man, Karim Abdelkader of Tortuga in 5th.
For the Tortuga Armada, the squad accomplished our modest goal of placing a man in the top 5, thanks to Karim’s crafty riding and fine sprint finish. Being our first race together as a full squad, the team realized going in that there will be some growing pains. Based on yesterday, the growing should not include much pain, as everyone gave great effort.
Chris and Vic were superlative in their continuous efforts to cover and go off the front throughout the race. Patrick Delisle also acquitted himself nicely by covering and providing a Tortuga presence whenever necessary. JK showed he still has what it takes despite riding less this season – he made the move that mattered near the end of the race.
Sean, Riggs, Brauner, T.Heff and Tim Davis each contributed as needed. Unfortunately, T.Heff suffered some injuries and equipment damage due to a crash with three laps to go. Crashing was rampant during the race. With so many teams well represented, tempers flared at times, causing certain riders to ride dangerously, which ended up costing some riders flesh and carbon.
My own performance yesterday was sub-par. While the effort was there, the savvy was severly lacking. I did not necessarily work any harder than I would in a Masters race. The difference however, is that the efforts I made in the 1,2s were merely to gain position rather than going off the front in an effort to set up teammates or create a break.
I did make it to the front once, after having spent two laps of energy wasting movement AROUND the pack rather than going through it. When I arrived in position, I found myself on THE Man, CT’s wheel. He launched, I followed, a few others bridged, and then I sucked phlegm for several laps.
The white knuckle, final 3 laps were nothing short of Nascar intense as riders surged the front every time the leaders let up, even slightly. The battle for position created more near and actual crashes. Karim is to be commended for holding position well enough to garner the 5th place.
As a team, the rest of us, especially me, can improve by working on positioning to better serve our teammates.
A big “great job” goes out to Geraint Parry who kept the crowd interested with insightful and colorful commentary as the MC for the 1,2,3 race. Nice job G.
This Wednesday is the upper paragon loop. Hope to see many of you there.