Oak Ridge Velo Classic
The Hub City / Lift Center team had 5 in the 40+ Masters race. Joe, Octavio and I made up the 40+, Tim Taylor in the 50+, and Tom Gee in the 60+. The race is 50 miles with a loop that is done 2 times and a hill top finish with a climb up the last 1000 meters. The course has a 1 mile climb around 5% that is hit twice around the loop. The downhill side is steeper, longer, and fast.
There were a few testing attacks early but nothing serious through the start. Tim and Joe rode near the front and largely kept things in check and helped set the pace. The first time up the climb Tim kept a steady pace over the the climb and lead the decent around 50 mph. Other than the climb the rest of the course was rolling and pretty fast. Ron Wilson (60+) lead a solo attack that nobody seemed concerned about and he gained a pretty significant gap. Tom came by and said he was going for the catch. When he hit the front the rest of the pack with him and sat on his wheel. Joe and I quickly moved up to the front and took turns in the chase and closed the gap. Tom took this opportunity to attack off the front and stayed there several miles before eventually coming back to the main field.
The second time up the climb was a little more testy and we hit it hard, splitting the field and leaving behind some of the sprinters. After another bombing decent the lead group slowed again and we didn’t push things knowing that Tom was in one of the chase groups. This allowed most of the field to regroup before the finish. The lead stayed pretty calm until the right turn into the finishing climb. The pace went up quickly at the 1000 meter line and people were trying to find position. Octavio and I stayed put near the middle, moving up as people faded and tried to stay calm until the 200 meter line where we both launched with everything. Everybody was sprinting at this point on the climb and it was hard to make up positions. Octavio was almost taken out in the sprint and ended up with a broken front spoke. He and I finished side by side with him 6th me 7th and Joe 12th in the 40+. Tim was 8th in the 50+ and Tom was 5th in the 60+. Since this was the State Championship race medal were awarded in 5yr age groups. Octavio and I earned the Silver and Bronze in the 45-49 group.
by Randy McKinnon