Thursday, June 4, 2009

Clarendon Cup 1/2/3

I had been wanting to do this race for years. When I first started racing for Evo as a 5, doing one to two races a year, back when the elite team had Nima and Brent and they were riding those yellow Giant TCRs; I remember thinking to myself that CSC was the only reason I'd want to upgrade to a 3. It really was the showcase race in the area and starting it seemed like something you had to do to be able to say you were a road cyclist in the area. Well I finally got my start this year (the broken arm last year delayed it by a year). The race itself was fun, although it sounds like it wasn't as fast as in years past based on some conversations afterwards. I won't bore anyone with the little details, but there were two strategy situations that came up during the race for me.

1. Esmonde (who we thought was our ace in the hole) got in the decisive break early in the race. I knew he was up the road so we sat in and just made sure we closer to the front than the back. What I didn't realize at the time was that the monster from Kelley was attempting to lap the field from the break. His teammates were at the front of the pack slowing it down (really just keeping the pace in check) and the rest of us were content to let them stay there. What I wonder is if someone in our position, having someone in the break racing for second while a guy is midway to lapping the field, what do they do? Accept that their team won't get the win? Go to the front to not let the guy catch the back end of the field? Do nothing? Who knows? What would the pros do? Should the guys in the break sat up and gone back (I'm thinking no to that one)? Problem was that I didn't know that dude had lapped the field till the race was over. Maybe they need to let the 1/2/3 guys wear earphones too...that would be cool.

2. With about 4 to go it was accepted by all that it was going to come down to a field sprint for sixth. I looked around and saw a lot of the better sprinters in our region sitting pretty and looking pretty fresh. Brandon was sitting in a good position about 7th wheel and I fought to get up to him for 2 laps. I spent the next lap debating to take the suicide flyer with one to go or try to get Brandon to the last turn second wheel behind me. Being tired and sore made me choose wrong. I jumped going through the start/finish, got a little gap, had it going through the final turn, but got swarmed by a few in the final 100 meters. Good enough for tenth. Thinking back, I think the odds would have been better if I had taken control of the front coming out of turn 3 and taken Brandon through the last turn faster and launched him to the line. Not sure what to do there when you got such talented sprinters against you.

Anyway, all in all it was good times and I'm looking towards the next one already.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

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