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Marblehead 35+ and P/1/2/3 April 5, 2009

Posted by Gary in Race Reports.

The masters race was the first of the day at 9:35.   I took the line fairly far back (like in the back).   The real reason is because I got to staging late, but I also  figured this would help me keep to the sit in and sprint plan and conserve some energy for the 1/2/3.   I hoped that despite the pretty strong winds, we wouldn’t end up with any field splits.

I did end up deviating from plan once.  with 4 to go, I was at the right place to see Amos  Brumble plus another CCB rider launch on the hill.  They had one more teamate in a break of 3 dangling ahead and I figured it was a good excuse to go.   At least I’d get my legs opened up a bit more.  This break failed like all the others, so we found ourselved all together heading into the last few laps.

At around 2 to go, I got to the front and resolved that I was going to maintain position in the top 10 through to the sprint.  I was banking on CCB to set up a lead-out.  They did so on the last lap, but with less numbers than expected.  I asserted position through the winding descent, flats and sharp turn before the hill.  Once we hit the hit the hill, things started looking a bit iffy since the CCB train wound down too soon.  At the top of the hill, it just bunched a bit and people were looking around at each other. 

The pace picked up a bit more at the begining of the descent, but it didn’t feel like enoughto me.  We were still a bit far out, but running out of hill and I really wanted that to get up to speed.  I also was getting nervous about someone else jumping early.  So, I chose to go first myself.  I had plent of daylight on the right and jumped.  I really did more of a seated “sprint” through the rest of the downhill – almost more of a TT effort.   At about 100m or less, 1 guy started to pop around the right, which was my signal.  I stood up and emptied the rest of the tank.  2 more got by, but I held the rest at bay for 4th.  In the money!  $40 bucks and no need to share with anyone!

BTW, I’m not sure who it was, but either at the end of 2 to go or 3 to go, someone touched a pedal and rolled his rear tubular at the causeway turn.  I figured for sure he was heading down and since I just outside him, I was going to be sliding too.  I have to say he did a stellar job of keeping that bike upright, but the carbon rim is trash for sure…

I confirmed my 4th with Diane Fortini at the finish line, sped back to the car to get fluids and lined up for the 1/2/3 race,  yet again in the back row.  This time I was nervous about being that far back, and with good reason.  A major split happened probably 6-7 laps in.  By the time I got to the front, it was ca 15 sec up the road.  I made an effort to surf a couple of groups in no mans land and TT to get up to the lead group, but basically managed to drag riders with teamates in the lead close enough to jump across once I’d popped.

 That was pretty much it.  The lead solidified, and the race for paying spot was over for our group.  I still managed to get a good workout out of it and by the time we hit the sprint, my legs were cramping badly and I was pedalling things that didn’t even resemble squares.  So, I had I been up front I almost certainly wouldn’t have been near the top ten (which is also probably true if I had been fresh).  So, I rolled in for 60th, but still feeling good about my result earlier in the day. 

So, now I feel pretty good about my form on a relatively flat course.  The next big question is how I handle hills (and dirt) at Battenkill this year!



1. Gary - April 7, 2009

Looks like there are some photos here at the David Rizzo photostream on flickr, including the sprint:

Yet again, “the tongue” seems to have made an appearance and, as usual, not quite as well as some of the more notable tongues in the sport (e.g. Moreau).

2. Wade - April 16, 2009

Nice job! Probably the only long running race in New England I have never done. Just never thought the drive was worth it. Often it has bumped up against a Bethel, which when I was a 3, I could double up. Or when we moved to Southington, I did the epic ride from home and race, for a nice 4+ hour day.

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