An eclectic, yet enthusiastic group of Tortugans attended the second annual YLNI Pancake Stage Race near Fort Wayne this past weekend. The weather was perfect and road conditions were quite nice, which contributed to a fun and profitable endeavor for Team Tortuga. Myron Lewis, Chris Beck and myself competed in the 2/3 event, while Jackie Moeller and Sarah Rieke vied in the Women’s Open event. Here’s Pancake by the numbers:
Team Competition: 1st
Chris: 6th RR, 4th TT, 3rd Crit, 3rd GC
Myron: 13th RR, 3rd TT, 7th Crit, 11th GC
Gary: 1st RR, 7th TT, 11th Crit, 5th GC
Jackie: 4th RR, 3rd TT, 3rd Crit, 3rd GC
Sarah: 1st RR, 2nd TT, 2nd Crit, 2nd GC
The first day of racing found the 2/3 road race starting sleepily with an itchy Masters 35+ group overtaking the 2/3s less than halfway through the first 14.6 mile lap. This seemed to motivate the 2/3s to actually start racing and that, coupled with the Masters deciding on who wanted to attack next, brought the 2/3 field back around to the front, never looking back. As the first lap came to a close, I bridged to an off-the-front Mob Squad rider who suggested we make a go of it. So we started, which immediately prompted Myron and Chris to run chaff in an incredulous peloton. A lap and a half later the Mob Squad rider dropped off and I decided I had too much invested not to try to stay away. Chris and Myron continued disrupting chase efforts both physically and mentally with Myron informing those that asked after my finishing intentions, “Oh yeah, he placed 3rd at Nationals and is still peaking. He does this all the time!” The demoralized field was slowed by the exemplary Tortuga teamwork allowing me to take the win with a gap of nearly four minutes. Sarah sprinted to take the win and Jackie brought in 4th in the Women’s road event.
The second day started with the Time Trial and Team Tortuga members dominating with top 10 finishes on a course affected by a slight crosswind. Myron took 3rd and Chris 4th on a TT setup previously ridden once in training. Sarah and Jackie continued holding strong GC placement with their 2nd and 3rd finishes in retro fashion using road bike setups.
The start of the very technical Criterium event found Team Tortuga in strong positions for GC and the Team Competition. The men decided to mark other GC contenders in an attempt to improve standings in a field loath to let anybody get away. With all previous attacks quashed, Myron threw down one last attack at the start of the final lap. I failed to find his wheel, but Chris stayed in contention during the final field sprint nabbing 3rd. Sarah and Jackie controlled their event to the end, barely missing the win.
This was a weekend filled with absolutely outstanding teamwork by all.