BETA (A race report from Whitewater)


By Brean


another race in which i didn't have time to warm up. had to duct tape my shifter together and got over to the line just before the masters rolled out. bradley, avi and i were representing the cuttin' crew, and i found my friend john there as well.

john is a triathlete, and i found his a good wheel to follow, since he was steady and a surprisingly good climber (efficient and smooth). there were a lot of teams out there, but not any teams with more than three members. Tati, Crew, IIT, and at least two 2CC. so my job for the race would be to keep an eye on breakaways. i wanted avi to get a podium finish.

the course was about 5.5 miles per lap and we were to do 8 laps, even though the officials accidentally told us 7 laps. there was a little confusion as to this part, which plays in later. there was a sharp and bumpy turn shortly after the start, and then a long and tough hill, followed by a turn and a short but steep hill. then some downhills, one sharp turn, and a few almost unnoticeable uphills.

we passed the masters on lap 4 or so. we called out and they let us ride through. then, off we went again. that hill was pretty tough, and i thought about riding the front of the pack to get up it smoothly, but put that thought out of my mind. i haven't been training, and did not feel able to do any good pulls. i planned on leading avi out, and i didn't think a break would happen. so riding the pack and sucking wheels became the tactic.

on lap 6, the masters caught back up to us just as we got to the hill. we called out to the pack to let them ride through. but oh, that beastly hill would not yield, and the masters blended in with us and formed a huge pack of 100 or so riders. so we called out, trying to tame the pack. "masters ride through!" "elites, let them ride through!"

so we rode slowly for a time and joked about how nice it was to get a bit of a break. but the masters still didn't pull through. i rode towards the front to ask them to ride on, and i noticed a big group of riders way ahead. "did you guys get dropped?" "no." "are those masters up there" "no, those are 4/5's"

dog crap. turns out that some of the elite 4/5's used the mingling of the masters to initiate a break. not nice. but i could not let this get away, so i excused my way to the absolute front of the rear pack. alpha. and blasted my way towards the front pack.

it was hard. like when you come home late at night and your keys don't work because your landlord is too cheap to replace the lock and you have been in your sweaty chamois for hours and your ankle hurts and you are wearing racing shoes and trying to climb into your window and you are poor and your credit is bad. that kind of hard.

i just had to make it to the front pack or the whole day was ruined. so i bridged, slipped off for a few seconds, then finally got back on, just before, you know, the hill (most of the rest of the 4/5's were right behind me, as it turns out). i barely made it up the hill, and i figured my race was done. but i did hold.

then there was a sprint for the finish line, with one lap to go. avi took second in the false finish as the bell rang for the final lap. i'd mention how funny i think that is, but he is still pretty sore about it all. bradley had dropped on the hill after making his own bridge effort right behind me. that meant it was me alone for the end.

but i was still seeing spots from the bridge when the hill came around again. so i didn't quite recognize the break when it happened. then, one of the break members burned out, and one lone wolf was out there solo. i finally recovered and did some thinking. no avi and no bradley. it was just me, the pack, and a solo. i knew the pack would not hunt him down. there were no sizeable teams to organize a chase or make a sacrifice. so i continued to suck wheel and played for second place. the pace ramped up, but i knew we would not catch our prey. after a bit of jostling in the pack, i popped out left and saw the cones. myteriously, nobody else was jumping, so i said "turbo, kitt" and let loose.

it seems i have developed a sprint lately, and easily beat the pack for second place. beta.