Cat 5 40+ weekend report
Bobby, Mike, Steve and myself lined up ready to race for the first race of the weekend. We rolled out of the neutral zone and Ashley Dewberry with I am Racing and another guy jumped. We decided to just let him go because we thought it was too early and it wouldn’t stick. Everything in me wanted to chase but I was afraid I would burn myself out. The climb was easy with the pace slow and over the next several miles we marked the stronger riders and the unsafe riders. After around 6 miles we noticed Dewberry had dropped the guy that went with him and Dewberry was getting smaller and smaller. We decided it was time to go get him. We started making our way through the pack and a TBRA official rode up beside us. The official yelled at Bobby and told him he was DQed for crossing the yellow line. I saw several other guys crossing the yellow line during the race and think he should’ve been given a warning but the official said after race that it was at his discretion. I was not happy to say the least after this happened. Mike and I went to the front and took turns pulling the pack trying to bring Dewberry back. Nobody was willing to drive the pace like we were so once we got off the front to recover the pace just slowed back down. Reality sit in that this was a race for 2nd so I got together with Mike and told him at 1k to drop the hammer. At 1k Mike went into an all out TT effort with me sitting 7th wheel. I was behind Vi and 2 BPC guys who I had marked to be a contender in the sprint. Mike kept the pace in the high 20’s until around 300meters. I jumped as the pace was slowing and got good separation. I was able to hold off Vi and the BPCers in the sprint.
My legs were feeling pretty tired after 2 road races on them so I knew I was going to pay for it on the TT effort. The wind had completely died down by 7:00 which was not working in our favor. I was hoping for a tail wind!! Mike put in another great effort finishing 3rd and me 4th. Scott and Steve put in great efforts as well finishing 10th and 13th.
This was my first crit so I was nervous as a cat!!! I was 2nd in the omnium at this point of the weekend with Brad Malone with BPC sitting in 3rd. Our plan was for Bobby and Mike go with Dewberry who was in first and me to go with Malone if he tried anything. During the first lap a guy went off the front and Mike went with him and quickly brought him back. After that Dewberry went hard and Bobby jumped all over him. Bobby hung in there with Dewberry for several laps and then Malone with BPC jumped. I knew it wasn’t going to stick so I just stayed content in the pack. After a lap we brought Malone back and then I jumped. I stayed away for a couple laps but noticed the BPC guys were coming after me. I sit up and once Malone had bridged up with me I noticed that we had a good gap on the field. We worked together to try to bring back Dewberry but the guy was just strong. After several hard efforts in trying to bring back Dewberry and keeping the main pack away I was pretty much toast so I settled in for 3rd. Mike got 14th, Bobby 15th and Steve 17th.
I finished 2nd in the Overall Omnium and could not have done this without great teammates. Mike and Bobby did an awesome job this weekend and I feel blessed to be a part of this team!! Thanks again for all of the advice from you more experienced riders!!!!
Report by Benjie Case