Tuesday, April 19, 2011

West Mountain Road Race

Saturday, UVU Cycling team put on an omnium*, with a team time trial in the morning, followed by a road race in the afternoon. Certainly nobody gets into the race promotion business except out of love for the sport, but the UVU guys seem to be more motivated by the love part than the money part.

*An omnium is a race with multiple stages, but unlike a stage race, you can pick and choose the stages you want to do and skip the others. Can you imagine how many guys would stop at the bottom of the Tourmalet (if they made it that far) if Le Tour were like this?

Registration consisted of filling out a release form, handing the guy a twenty, and grabbing a number. And instead of yet another T-shirt or water bottle, they fed us lunch after the race. I wish they were putting on races every weekend.

The 1-2-3 field raced three laps around West Mountain, a distance of 123km. Or about twice as far as I've ridden all season. Considering this was my first road race as a cat. 2, and my winter training consisted of skiing, eating, and a firm commitment to avoid the trainer, my goals were simple: 1) stay with the main bunch; and 2) try to sprint it out with whoever is left at the end, with the first being much more important than the second.

First lap saw some early attacks, with my team (Revolution-Cafe Rio), Ski Utah-Marketstar, and Bike Shoppe having sufficient numbers to ensure that nothing got away unless we were represented. Eventually a group of seven or so, with two of ours, got free.

We didn't quite get into Sunday group ride mode, as Ski Utah wanted to narrow the gap to try and get Sleevie into the break. That idea fell apart when we rounded a tight right-hander and noticed Stormin' and Manny on the pavement. With those guys crashed, the impetus for the break fell apart, and we were all back together.

Early in lap two, the same three teams got one guy each away. Nobody who was left was willing to chase, so we were assured someone on the podium.

Early in lap three, Sleevie and my teammate Curt got into a second break, but this time others made some efforts to try and either catch them or get away themselves. It was on again off again for most of lap three, with Eric from UVU getting away solo and the rest of us just making a lot of accelerations that ultimately didn't do much. A couple times I thought I was going to get popped, but I managed to keep it together.

At 1K, Cam from Ski Utah launched an early move. Steve got right on it, and I was about six riders back waiting until I saw the 200 to go sign. Before I knew it, I heard my wife screaming my name, I wondered briefly why she was so far out on the course, and then I noticed the line painted across the road that we had just gone over. I never even got out of the saddle. I had the legs to at least try and sprint. Unfortunately, I lacked the brains to pay attention to where we were on the course and notice how close we were to the line. Dum-de-dum-dum-dumb.

Steve held off Todd and Turbo to take the best of the rest sprint for seventh. Spence and Curt finished third and fifth, respectively, with Garrett from Ski Utah taking the W. Our guys won the TTT in the morning, so nothing to complain about with the results. In fact, there was nothing to complain about at all, because in addition to the sandwiches, UVU also arranged for complimentary massages after the race. Did I mention that I wish these guys were putting on races every weekend?

1 comment:

  1. I like the way UVU did some new things with the race.

    And congrats on not getting dropped. Seriously, that must be a fast pack.