Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Weekly Worlds Report

The Westlake Weekly Worlds turned out to be a very hard bit of fun last night -- much harder for some of us than others, it seems.

And it ended with some controversy and squawking that probably still has some guys rubbed raw this morning.

The race took on a new character when two strong Spin riders dropped down from the A race (involuntarily, it seems -- there reportedly was some consternation among other A riders over bike-handling skills). Meanwhile, our strongest B riders were elsewhere: Gary B. in the A field and Jason R. at work.

The downgraded Spin guys include an expert-class MTB racer who's not too familiar w/ road racing, and a strong young Cat 4 who is moving up and hoping to go pro someday soon. They joined another young Cat 5 rider who's been a regular in the Bs. They apparently thought they'd put the wood to SBR. They made the race faster than any B race I remember. But as for whupping up on the SBR guys? They miscalculated.

Two Spins broke on lap 2 and apparently thought they'd ride away from the rest of us for 28 miles, but I was right on their wheels. And they didn't know how to rotate. So that break lasted less than a lap.

To their credit, they kept attacking, and kept trying to set up a leadout train for the primes. To their fault, they kept attacking over the yellow line, blowing way too wide on turns and screwing up their leadouts by towing other sprinters. Our guys -- particularly MattO. -- had much merriment by abusing the Spin leadout and beating them on prime after prime. And I kept marking and bringing back solo attacks until my legs turned to Jell-O.

Every time I looked down at my computer, it showed us going 26-28 mph.

About 40 minutes into the race, as I was chasing down one such attack, I felt my front tire getting low. No sudden deflation, so I hoped to ride it to the end. But within a lap, it had leaked past the point of safe riding. So I bowed out.

At that point, my computer showed an average speed of 23.5 mph -- which included two warmup laps, one of which was about 16 mph. Even after I walked my bike 700 yards to the parking lot, the average was still around 21.4. I've been in B races where that was the pace for the whole race. Teammate Rick A. had the final average at something close to 25 -- I forget what, exactly.

Anyway, as to that the controversy: On one of the late laps -- maybe the last? (I was sitting at my car by then) -- another guy attacked after the turn onto Bassett and two SBRs -- John V. and Michael L. -- went with him. Then, as the A field passed, the break latched on to its draft. Now, 2/3 of the breakaway riders insist they did no such thing, and I know how they feel: I felt wrongly accused when this happened to me last year and I got DQ'd by a consensus of the field led by my own (new) teammates. A year later, I still feel like I got hosed. But mixing fields is mixing fields, and if it looks like a duck ... Bottom line: You either pass the As or drop behind them. Unfair, maybe, if the As don't hold a steady and brisk pace. But non-negotiable.

Likewise, crossing the yellow should be a non-negotiable infraction. It's understood that everyone sets up wide of the yellow for the 90-degree and sharper turns. But attacking over the yellow on the straights, or through the S turns, or even using the yellow to advance through the cop turn are all violations, and I saw Spin riders commit them at least three times. The double yellow is the equivalent of an imaginary barrier, and even if you get forced into crossing, it's the same as getting forced into a barrier: Your sprint is done. You cannot advance. If they're going to keep that up, it's time to start demanding some DQs, for their own protection and the peloton's. We do not need any head-on collisions w/ cars or pileups caused by guys cutting back into a sprint from the wrong side of a double yellow.

Utimately, after the mixed-field DQs, the race came down to a field sprint, which leads us to the final Spin miscalculation: MattO broke into their train -- again -- and took the sprint from them -- again, just as he'd done w/ primes all night. Rick A. took 2nd place. Mitch G. from Spin took 3rd.

'Twas a very spirited, hard and fun race. I expect it has a "To Be Continued" tag on it.


Rick said...

Hey you must have been in a differant race than me.I saw what the A drop down to B riders were trying to do.You SBR riders also were sending riders away with then.How many times did you and spin have riders off the front then as i went bye all you guys would chase your own riders down isnt the object to get riders away and block so you can get the win? Whats up with slowing down just because the A's are going to pass us.Somone yelled A riders just before the last turn i looked back and saw no one so since we slowed i took off with 2 of you riders trailing behind.I stayed right so when th A's came bye i would be clear off them.Then they slowed i was flying so i said F' it i'm passing them.Then i went through the 1st corner and stayed on the yellow and they all went bye fast no drafting at all.I looked back and saw 2 SBR coming up to me bye that time we all hit the 2nd corner and i rode the yellow so the A's could go on.Then another slowing and they went left so i went right to stay out of ther draft with you 2 riders with me.They took off so we were bye ourselves with the hammer down.What was wrong with what we did? Who is your PRES. to yell at Bridgette and say that i'm d'q along with you 2 racers.Was funny when Chris asked us for our story's of what happened out there and then asked Rick Adams what he saw he said a few things but one was that when the A's came bye we backed off and Chris said what did you do that for, no answer.Racing is racing i dont care if the A's are around us or not we have our race to do so i say pass them just like Chris say's we can do.It is just a traing race right?See you out there

Rick said...

rick, i didn't feel like spending an hour debating with you.....from our (the whole group) vantage point it looked like a DQ to us. If Bridgette says you didn't do anything wrong, then that is fine and the whole group was wrong.
I can't think of any race ever that has attacks based upon getting lapped by a faster field and trying to justify it. And I didn't say we backed off, btw. Please get your story straight.

Rick said...

"A year later, I still feel like I got hosed."
Hey Jimmy, you only get hosed by the ones that love ya right? (is that how the saying goes?)
rick (the snakebite one)

Anonymous said...

I would have read that last post, but being the intelligent person I am, I only speak proper English; therefore, cannot read jibberish. I would have also continued reading, but the words, "bull shit," "bull shit," "bull shit," just kept popping into my mind. Now I understand why people disparage the B group; they have whiney ass holes who rely on tactics like attacking when other fields pass and then complain when the WHOLE FIELD DQs them for rule violations. Although said riders may have not been "mixing" fields, riding close enough to catch significant draft is still unfair. I wish I had the chance to live life in the eyes of a dumb, lying piece of shit; then maybe I would understand. Honestly, it takes a very dishonest person to look someone directly in the face and lie, then get all pouty when the outcome may not go in their favor. Well, I'm off to grad. school so I'm not stuck repairing cars my whole life.

Oh, by the way. . . Blogger stalking is the new fad these days. It's what all the "cool" people are doing.