Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Great Results @ VCU

Sunshine in Doswell, VA. helped to further an excellent weekend of bike racing. While riders had some hesitation about the weekend of racing after seeing a flyer for two parking lot crits 7 individuals; Brock Denis, Brad Dodson, Duncan Oliver, Ryan McGovern, Todd Latocha, James Braswell, and (Jimmy) James Schulte let Friday evening around 5pm.
The first stop on the trip aside from a quick pitstop off the side of the road, was at The Dodson Family Residence for an AMAZING MEAL. A salad, what seemed like a bottomless bowl of pasta, and of course to finish it off chocolate cake. With our stomachs full we headed to Richmond to find our hotel.
While standing outside waiting to get our rooms the team felt a little out-of-place and uneasy, but once securely locked into our rooms everyone settled down for some sleep.
Saturday arrived and we headed out early towards Kings Dominion, and after going past it arrived at the oparking lot crit location. While it was cold enough for us to put on hoodies and arm and leg warmers in the morning, the later events required only the minimum. The course was nice and wide, with three turns on a side road and then the parking lot section was greatly lined with cones and caution tape, that no one had issues with over the weekend. Saturday we rode the course clockwise. Our D riders did way too much work in the front of the peleton and heard the more expeirenced riders screaming at them each lap to sit up and do less work. The later races, Jimmy and Duncan hoped to help Brad in the B field but with a bad hub and a flat tire, neither proved to be of much use.
The real excitement of Saturday was the Men's A race. Walker Owen of NC State ended up in a solo breakaway in the first few laps of the race. With less than 10 laps to go, Greg Leach from American Univeristy and Brock Denis from WVU attempted to close the gap. With under 5 to go and the gap almost closed Brock yelled to Greg, G-Star I don't have anything left. The two continued to work and caught the solo break. The 3 of them brought it down to the wire just escaping the main field. Brock took the sprint and the Win, with Owen and Greg just behind.
Day two (sunday) we rode counter-clockwise and a new configuration was created with the cones. Our D riders learned their lessons from our constant heckling and responded great in the peleton. Todd worked to block as Ryan got into a break, but neither were too tired to sprint at the end as they both rode a smart race. Duncan, Brad, and Jimmy all took some form of PRIME points in the Men's B race, and with 5 to go Duncan put Brad on his rear wheel and Jimmy lined up to help protect to set up the initial lead out. Brad with some inpatients and inexperience, jumped very early and left the other two riders rather confused. Duncan took 9th and Brad 11th, Jimmy was just a few wheels back in the rest of the sprint. For the Men's A's Brock had exhausted himself on the prior day and was very please to take a top 15th and survive the day.
We all enjoyed showing off our earned tanlines on the way home and were also pleased to make in at a decent hour of about 10pm. A GREAT WEEKEND!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

W&M Race Weekend: Part 1

William & Mary Race Weekend

The Commute

After discussion at the meeting on Wednesday, the team planned to meet at the Coliseum at 4:00pm on Friday to load up and get underway. 4:30 sharp was to be the departure time. As usual, the team was running a few minutes behind. Blame the traffic--which is terrible on Friday in Morgantown anyway--or the plethora of other excuses presented (mostly from myself and Jimmy for arriving 15 minutes late), none of it made a difference. Past a few jokes, no one complained. Everyone was excited about the prospect of a warm weekend of racing on clean country roads

6 hours. That is roughly the amount of time it takes to travel from Morgantown, WV to Williamsburg, VA. (+ or - 30 minutes, depending on the driver) 6 hours is a lot of time. Almost agonizingly so. In Ryan’s truck, Broski and Ryan McGovern reportedly killed time by delving into discussions on all things manly, which undoubtedly prompted some interesting input from Brad Dodson and Brian DeCann. Elliott Ianello and myself were strategically placed together in my SUV so we could talk incessantly without bothering anyone. Sequoya, who was along for the ride this weekend to learn about bicycle racing, played impartial referee and mediated our bickering. That left Ryan and Jimmy together in Jimmy’s truck.

Around 7:30 pm, some wise soul made the decision to stop our group so we could all eat dinner at Boston Market in Frederick, Maryland. The food was amazing. So much so that the rest of the trip to Williamsburg was a forgettable blur. Broski showed off his unique ability to simultaneously contort his fingers and face/mouth into entertaining gestures. Other than that, intercar shenanigans were surprisingly kept to minimum.


The hotel was a place to sleep. Lets leave it at that. Truth be told, American University and a few of the other teams were jealous at how much money we saved.


The WVU student newspaper, the Daily Anthenaeum, published an article about our weekend:

Cycling races at William & Mary, heads to NYC Friday

Additional Details

While the DA pointed out the high points of the weekend, there were several other interesting occurrences.

Accident-prone Elliott somehow managed to rip his rear derailleur off his bike mid race. This gives him the unique honor of being the only person on our team to have three non-destroyed road bike frames in currently un-raceable condition.

Brian Decann was robbed of a top 10 finish in men’s D because of an accident at the 1000m mark before the end of the race. He raced really well and just hit a stroke of bad luck. He’s got the battle scars to prove he fought to the finish though.

Ryan Post, who helped officiate the races, brought his road bike with him for the weekend to ride around with us after our races were over. While loading his bike into the truck in Morgantown, Dr. Brock Von D , our resident bike surgeon, noticed Ryan had a greater than positive 10% rise in his stem, his handlebars dropped low enough to make a track racer giddy, brake cables tight enough to strum, and two shifter hoods at distinctively different heights (by a good 2 inches at least). Yes, a retro Euro cyclist silently died somewhere. Even by relatively relaxed WV standards, his bike looked like the velo-equivalent of a Saturday morning hangover. By the end of the weekend, however, his bike was back to acceptable condition.

More details to come . .. .