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Sterling RR – Wet, but not a Washout May 13, 2006

Posted by Wayne in Archive.
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Matt, Zane and Myself showed up for a beautiful 47 F rainy 10:30 AM start in Sterling this morning along with a good chunk of the preregistered masters field and then some. Given my love of climbing, my job was to try and keep to the front 1st lap and go if anything got off. I took up an uncustomary position near the head of the pack for the neutral climb to the finish line and tacked onto a halfhearted effort at breaking free. I already knew I was in trouble as both my legs and lungs started getting full of junk. Even before the descent, I faded back into the pack and hoped I could spin the legs in. Matt and Arlen stayed near the front keeping tabs on things.

Coming back down 12, the pace picked up a bit and I found I could not effectively work my way back towards the front. Not good for me, we hit the climb and someone up front kicked the pace up. A split opened up in the first pitch and Matt and I got caught out in the chase while Arlen got up the road with the main group. I dangled on the back during the long uphill grind as the gap to the lead group was cemented.

On the descent, Matt followed 2 other riders trying to break away from our chase and I pulled through as he came back. That was pretty much my last good effort for the day. I figured I’d hit the hill one more time and see what the legs felt like, but since I was still coughing up lung fragments, I did not have high hopes. I ended up slightly detached after the first pitch. Matt had attacked on the climb and had about 10-15 sec. then Curley (who got caught out with us) moved to join him. They dangled off the front as I dangled off the back all the way to the 1st turn. As I lost more time on the descent, I lost track of what was going on in the chase.

I was feeling generally lousy at this point. It was great for training to have a nice mild winter, but the bumper crop of pollen is wreaking havoc on my lungs. I’ll have to come to Stonington next week with a triple dose of antihistamines on board.

I headed for the car, changed into dry clothes, then headed off to the finish climb to play spotter, since Arlen was still in the lead group. At the finish of the second to last lap, a group of three riders, including Badger were about 20 second up on the field with 2 chasers in no man’s land. Zane looked pretty comfortable in the pack and with a pretty good sized group, it seemed reasonably likely the break would come back.

As it turns out, it did not. Last time up the three came through with about a 30+ sec. lead and Badger leading out for the win. The main pack came through the turn into the climb with 4 riders just off the front. Arlen was 4th wheel and did a great job pushing through to the finish to edge out one other rider and finish in the money at 6th. Matt kept the team’s end up by leading the groupetto up the climb.

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1. Ed - May 13, 2006

Good report Gary and nice result Zane. Sorry i couldn’t be there with you guys. Lets see if we can keep the ball rolling for the rest of the season.

2. Wayne - May 13, 2006

Whoa! Can Badger be stopped? First the PVTT, now Sterling!

3. Domnarski Farm - May 14, 2006

I still have sand under my eyelids. I always debate whether to ride with glasses or not. Sometimes it keeps the wheelspray out of your eyes and other times you are looking to take the glasses off in the middle or the race.

I had a good start and felt strong. I want to kick myself for getting caught out because it seemed like I had enough fitness to stay in the front group. But then again, you never know because I wasn’t there. Arlen told me afterward that the group seemed to shatter up each climb.

After missing the split I decided my best chances were to try and bridge on the climb. I missed my chance when when the front train left.

At the bottom of the climb Richard Fries declared on the PA that the group had 45 seconds. But by the time I hit the top someone with a watch said they had two minutes. I knew it was over when I couldn’t see the front field on the long straight. Curley joined me but I decided against a long fruitless effort. After all, Zane was up there so that was one reason not to drag anyone else up.

I settled in to get some training miles but those miles proved difficult too. Too must screwing around and some big gaps I needed to close in a rather hefty wind.

Gap went to 3 min, then 5, then 5:30 so I figured on trying win the groupetto.

One of those laps I put in a good climb and seemed to break the spirit of anyone that wasn’t determined.

Matt Myette from the Cyclonauts was riding well and had plenty of strength. We know each other from my former team membership and I sometimes train together.

Me, Matt, Curley and his team mate seemed to be the strength of the group. Curley and his team mate rode hard on some of the other sections and I thought their effort might help.

Matt jumped near the end and I decided it wasn’t for me. I thought I was climbing best of the losers so I would wait to the foot of the climb. Curley gave up and Matt came back…but another rider went clear with Matt.

I didn’t want to go before the hump to the finish, but I wanted to take the group and needed to start early.

With some trouble, I kept the big ring turning to be top man fr “King of the Losers”. I might have even nabbed a few shattered souls from Zane’s group.

I’m glad Arlen came home with a result. He rode well and the start was a bit feisty. Last week he missed the split at Jiminey and this week, I got caught out. Maybe it was the weather, lesser field, but I needed to be more vigilant.

Matt

4. Wade - May 14, 2006

Good job guys. I really was going to race, even with the cold rain but I rolled such a crappy time at Wednesday’s TT and I felt so bad doing it that I knew I needed a rest. If it had been a nice day I would have come up and tried but the weather sealed the deal and I made this a full-on rest week.
It wasn’t raining back here so I was able to get out for an easy spin, running into Ed who was coming back from a 3 hour jaunt up to Collinsville.

Wade


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