Cat 4 road race
Our race started out with a few attacks on the first lap but nothing real serious. Octavio and myself both staying near the front of the pack. As we neared the start of lap 2 I put a effort in to move up and over to the left hand side of the road because I knew the rough section of road was coming up. The first lap we passed this section in neutral roll out and I just felt like someone was gonna loose it when we hit it at speed. Sure enough as we passed TCA and started down the hill it was like a bomb went off on the right hand side of the street. Someone hit a pothole and went down and the carnage began. It happened a little in front of me and I saw and heard it all. The guys just behind hit the downed rider and launched over their handlebars feet it the air. Downed riders were sliding all over the road as we had been traveling close to 28-30mph. I noticed a front wheel rolling along unattached from someone bike… It was crazy. I was able to steer clear to the left and quickly sprinted up to the leaders, where I found Octavio had also safely made it through. We had about 15 guys and a huge gap. We made the right hand turn to start the climb and the guy behind me washed out in the corner. I pulled to the front and told everyone to start a paceline. Everyone worked together for a few miles extending our gap and I knew we would stay away. People started skipping pulls and sitting on the back and 2 guys chased back to us. I went to the back and sat on the wheel of one lazy guy and made him pull back through the paceline. We started our 3rd lap and the weather really turned bad. About halfway through the 3rd lap the official pulled up and said they were cutting off the 4th lap and that this was now the finishing lap with 6 miles to go. The attacks started immediately one after another. The big hill by the cattle farm Matthew Robbins (the omnium winner) put in a big attack and got a gap with another guy. 2 more guys jumped out and I followed a 901 guy Seth rider up to the move. We passed the 2 guys and went up to the lead 2. This was with about 2 miles to go and we had a decent gap on the field and it was just down to us 4-5 guys. I was liking my chances and feeling good sitting 4th wheel. With 1k to go Robbins moved to the front hammering down. He had won the Sparta race and I knew I wanted his wheel. I moved up to second wheel and edged Seth rider out of the way. I could taste the victory. Then with 800m to go the official pulled up and said “no sprint the race is cancelled”. I couldn’t believe it we were on the finishing straight. I noticed and oncoming truck through the pouring rain and yelled to the officials car cause they were still beside us in the other lane. They speed up and barely pulled over in front of us CLIPPING MIRRORS WITH THAT TRUCK. When I heard the cars hit I thought we were all done for. It was a crazy race. Octavio and I made the move, avoided the crash, worked our tails off, I got in the select 5 move for the finish and was set up behind the biggest guy ready to take the win and we got NO RESULTS. It was disappointing to say the least. Octavio was in the chase group right behind me and was ready to sprint for 6th place but we got no points for the omnium overall since the finish was neutralized. As if this wasn’t enough bad luck after getting back to the parking lot I noticed my frame was cracked on my right seat stay and was unridable.
Cat 4 TT
I felt pretty good going into the TT. I was really hoping to break the 11 minute mark for the 5 mile course. In training I had done an 11:03 after last months 10 mile TT race. I ended up only being able to push a 11:09 and got 3rd. I was 13 sec off first place (Matthew Robbins) and 7 seconds off 2nd (Seth rider).
Cat 4 CRIT.
Since no Omnium points were giving for the road race I was in 3rd place in the omnium with 8 points. Just 2 points off the lead. Basically whoever won the CRIT would win the overall.
With my bike broke our AMAZING sponsor Justin Wren let me ride his personal bike so I could try to win the Omnium. What a guy. Thanks again Justin.
The race started fast. There were many accelerations and Joe, Randy, and Octavio all were up front covering moves trying to keep me protected. Seth Rider put in a good attack and it took about a lap or two to pull him back in. Then the pace eased for a lap or so then attacks started again. This was about halfway through. A few laps later Matthew Robbins put in a big move on the finish hill after a prime lap and got some separation. I moved up and let everyone know not to let him go cause he won the TT and could stay away. The others teams chased him up the next hill i think…I loose track it all seems like a blur now. Maybe a half lap later I jumped across to Robbins and joe was on my wheel. He sat up and let the gap open up and nobody wanted to come around him to close it. We were approaching the downhill corner and I had made it to about 2 seconds behind Robbins and was closing. I knew he and I could stay away and it would come down to a sprint between us. As I bombed through that “carnage corner” closing to him my rear tire rolled of the rim and popped sounding like a gun going off. I did an amazing powerslide/drift move to keep the bike upright and not wreck at 30mph. It was equal parts grace of God, not wanting to buy Justin and new bike, and all those Need For Speed Drift video games I play with Taylor on Xbox that kept me upright. Well if my heartrate wasn’t high enough that spiked it. I ran down to pit area where winter grabbed my bike and ran it on down and they started changing to my spare wheel. Alan was telling me to calm down and relax and get my heartrate down. I was trying but it wasn’t working. Since I was in the break the official let me start after Robbins came through and in front of the field. I’m not sure how much of a gap he had by then but as he came by official said go and Chris and Alan gave me the push off of a lifetime …. I was giving it everything I had up the finishing hill to bridge back up to him. I heard them say 6-7 laps to go and knew i had to catch him for any chance at omnium overall victory. I got back to about 4 seconds from him on the backside hill. He looked over to me and I thought he might ease to let me catch him so we could work together to stay away. NOPE. He attacked again and I was dying. I knew I was redlined but tried to go to. I couldn’t match him and was fading. He pulled away more through “carnage corner”. I brake checked going into, having seen 4 people eat pavement that morning and almost doing it myself just a lap ago I lost a little nerve. I hammered down the finish straight and up the hill but couldn’t make up any ground and was maxed out. He pulled away. The group came back to me and I got back in it. I tried to recover and get my heartrate down Hoping to at least keep a omnium podium spot but with 5 to go and constant accarations I couldn’t recover and fell off the back. I guess it just wasn’t my weekend. Hopefully I used up all my bad luck for the rest of the season. Thanks guys for covering those early attacks and allow me to get into the winning move, bad luck just took me out of it.
by Richard Murphy