Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Like a gentleman

RMR_21Sept10

Photo credit: Tony Brown

I spent the evening at Rocky Mountain Raceway again last night. Jeremy from Masherz was there. I knew he was getting ready for cross season. So am I. Sitting in the group for 40 minutes wouldn’t help either of us with that, so on the back stretch of lap one, I accelerated away from the field.

I kept the gap just big enough to keep it from closing but just small enough that someone would come across (and I wouldn’t blow up). Jeremy took the bait. Shane from Ski Utah also came across, which would have been a good thing because it would have kept a strong team from chasing. But he burned his matches making the bridge and fell off.

Photo: T. Brown

The two of us got a margin and kept the gap pretty steady. Nearly every time I looked back, Steve was on the front riding tempo, keeping the gap open. When it wasn’t Steve, it was Alex K. Whenever someone tried to bridge, they reeled it in. I think when Shane got caught, half the field thought it was all back together and were happy to let our guys continue to “work.”

Photo: T. Brown

With three to go, we thought staying away was realistic, but we had to keep our heads down.

Photo: T. Brown

Bell lap, and it was pretty clear we wouldn’t get caught. Jeremy is a smart racer. He’s the current Cat. 3 state crit champ and won the season series in cross last year, so he knows how to win. But instead of goofing around to get position, we just kept working. Jeremy took a long pull on the back stretch. When he started to fade, I came around and was on the front rounding the last corner.

It would have been really easy for him to sit in behind me and come around for the win, but he didn’t. With about half a K to go, he pulled up alongside me so we could sprint it out two up. No drafting, no advantage—Jeremy’s a true gentleman racer. Who did what from there really doesn’t matter, because that was the winning move of the day.

Steve pointed out after the race that he and I have been a pretty good one-two punch at the crit series lately with one of us having won seven of the last nine races we’ve entered. It’s been a fun way to end the season, but it can only mean one thing: time to move up (and get humbled in the A flight). But not until after one more week of racing.

4 comments:

  1. "Who did what from there really doesn’t matter...."

    Congrats.

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  2. A fine report, and good photos.

    I agree, the high point of this story is Jeremy's decision to make it an honest dueling sprint finish. Kudos to Jermey.

    But I wouldn't call the end of the race a detail that didn't matter. Surely the sprint was exciting. And I'm pretty sure you both wanted to win. But I get your meaning and applaud your withholding the finish as an acknowledgment of Jermey's class.

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  3. Ya Ya. I get you two had a moment of pure sportsmanship but for those of us who live vicariously through other people, I DO want to know the outcome of the sprint. Geez!

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  4. Kris & 360: Looking up the results is easy enough, so I didn't feel like I was withholding anything. With about 200 meters to go, we both pedaled as fast as we could. That's the only detail I left out.

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