Sunday, March 1, 2009

Navy Crit Recap

So with the largest road team showing of the season our four car caravan departed the bike house a little before 6pm on friday. Luckily, our drive was relatively short and we arrived at the Welty household around 10pm. For those who don't know the Welty's are perhaps the most gracious and hospitable family in the Severna Park area and housed, fed, and put up with us for a whole weekend, THANK YOU WELTY FAMILY! We settled in to our wonderful accommodations and got a for real 7 hours of sleep. 

The next morning we woke up and our Men's D and C racers dressed up for the cold race that awaited them. We were surprised with a huge breakfast spread that fueled us for our upcoming race day. We arrived a little behind schedule, as usual, and registered and warmed up for the race. The Men's D went off for their twenty minutes with a well represented WVU squad. Ryan, Dave, Chad, and Brandon raced what I am sure seemed like a hundred laps around the technical Navy crit course riding strongly with the only casualty being Chad's tire bead in the last corner of the last lap. He went on to finish the race despite his minor crash. Next up Erik, Evan, and I did some hot laps around the course getting ready for the Men's C field crit. We lined up and the race started with a totally unreasonable amount of speed. Evan held a position at the front of the pack for a couple laps before being swallowed like the rest of us by a violent pace. I found myself quickly off the back, but thanks to our no DNF rule I fought back the urge to puke and reeled a few riders in before a small victory sprint that felled the ego of a GW rider. Amber found herself in a combined Women's B/C field and put out the watts against some very tough competition. She did a great job against some early season racing. Brock was once again the "Lone Wolf" in the Men's B crit and worked hard to bridge gaps and pull the chase group. He came home with another strong top 5 finish, way to go-ski bro-ski! Janel took the line in the small Women's A race and put up a great fight against the Navy squad. She hung on to contest many primes from the chase group after a Navy rider got away from the group never to be seen again. After being hung off the front by the two remaining Navy girls she still finished strong in third. Jimmy once again donned his lucky pink kit as he pulled up to the line for the A field race. Brock also decided to race the A's for experience after having already done 45 minutes of racing. He managed to race the full hour and placed ahead of many of the A riders, what a beast! With what seemed to be some difficulty getting clipped in, Jimmy found himself towards the back of the race early. However, lap after lap he reeled more riders in, closed more gaps, and yelled the most at lazy riders until he found himself back in the chase group. He held on for a 12th place finish, yay Jimmy! 

We packed up our gear and headed back to the Welty household only to be further surprised by post ride snacks followed by a huge spaghetti dinner. We seriously can't thank this family enough for their amazing hospitality. After a bunch of noodles and a round of well needed showers the team settled in for TV watching, beer drinking,  and pool shooting. We went to bed with thoughts of ITT's dancing in our heads only to find the next morning that an inch of snow had cancelled the race. Boo! and also Yay! two more hours of sleep. We assembled for another fantastic breakfast and I even managed to get a small group ride into Annapolis together. Dave, Brandon, Chad, Jimmy and myself headed out on the rail trail for a cold hour of hot bike lane action. We fooled around with mile sign sprints and raced across the Bay Bridge past the Naval Academy. I then got dropped at the longest stoplight in Maryland while the rest of the crew stopped a short distance up the road to fixed Chad's flat after a piece of glass ribboned his tire. After we fixed and barely inflated his tire we headed back to the house to pack up and leave. With another big thank you to the Welty Family we got on the road to Morgantown and after several terrible drive-by "goatings" found ourselves back in sweet WV. 

Unfortunately, this story has a sad ending. Amber's car got rear-ended near the Mile Ground. The driver of the other car stopped and the police were alerted. Brock, Ryan, and Amber's bikes were on the back of the car and are going to be assessed for damages at Pathfinder so the at fault pick-up truck driver can be billed. I don't know if he has any idea the kind of cost he might be looking at but hopefully the situation will be quickly and fairly resolved. So, despite a rough end to our travels we had a great weekend. Now lets get ready for Williamsburg!  


Brandon Crawford said...

No mention of waffle house :(

James Braswell said...

I didn't go to Waffle House so no mention!