Saturday, March 20, 2010

Season off to a great start

So my season started I have been pretty busy with training, schoolwork, etc etc. As far as academics go, my senior design project has pretty much taken over my week days with countless hours in the lab trying to get everything to work while not burning down the building. So many hours in the lab means much less time to finish up homework or even go to work to pay for all my cycling related purchases. Training wise, everything has been going very smoothly. Last week I raced my first 3/4 race; all in all I was satisfied with how I race. I hung in a tough field of mostly A racers at the Stevens Duck Country circuit. Tactical mistake that left me pulling the field for a lap and burning a huge match in the process saw me off the back with one lap to go. Despite that terrible lapse in judgment. I was able to mark wheels, get in breaks, and match the top racers in the ECCC for about 35mintues. That race left me zapped for the C race where I bagged it half way through and got back in the car where a warm change clothes awaited me.

This morning I raced twice in the 4/5s at Branchbrook park; this would be my first race w/ my new teammates at the Montclair Bikery. The promoter decided to run two 4/5 races in the days to make up for canceling last week due the furious stormed that left rivers in the streets of Hoboken. In the first race, I did my best to help my teammates most of whom were racing only for the second time ever learn the basics and mechanics that are involved in racing. I was able to set up both my teammates for break away attempts. The breaks were reeled in quick, but the experience they gained was valuable. Flash forward to the last lap of the race; I being a sprinter weaseled my way into the top 10 going into the final K of the race. Those of you who are familiar with Branchbrook, we did the short course which mean the final K was an uphill drag race. Coming up the small rise, there was a touch of handle bars that send two guys down right in front of me. Thankfully I've been through much worse crashes through my tenure at Prospect Park so I was able to swerve around it and sprint for 5th. The crash left a huge gap that allowed a few guys to sprint uncontested, at least a stayed rubber side down and nabbed my first top 5 finish in a year and my first upgrade points.

I decided earlier in the morning to race the second race 'just for miles' as it only cost an extra 15bucks. That said, as I'm pinning my numbers, I hear a whistle meaning the second race started without me. Luckily I was able to jump in the field the next lap while the promoter wasn't looking. The second race was a bit more mellow to start as half the field raced in the first race. The first couple of laps saw different guys taking pulls at the front in what seemed to be a friendly paceline. Once the lap cards read 5 to go, the real race started and the pace picked up to what is a normal 4/5 race of 24-27mph. This time I had one more teammate from Chris Sulivan , thankfully he's a cat4, 45+ sandbagger who knows how to race. I stayed on my his wheel until one to go. There I was joined by my sprinting brethen Mark Collins, a former trackie who is making his return to racing after about 5 years away from the NJBA. The last lap was much slower than the first race as most guys already had a race in their legs. I told my teammate at this pace, the sprint would be a drag race amongst the high power sprinters like myself(sorry I had to brag a little). As expected the final was 2file paceline with the sprinters and their leadout men jockying for position. My teammate Mark Collins found a hole on the outside and got the jump on everyone to take the win; which is the first for the Montclair Bikery this season. I was able to sprint for a second 5th place finish. Which meant a few more upgrade points, and a second race in my legs.

So far I have 7 races in the legs for 2010, all in all I'm very happy with how each one went. The season continues next weekend with races once again at Branchbrook, and at the Princeton/Stevens race. The plan for the week is to attempt to get on the road w/ some of the Stevens guys to enjoy some long awaited Spring weather; and then hopefully get some schoolwork done so I don't fail out with two months to go. Compared to last season where I had a disastrous spring and a mediocre summer, 2010 has so far been nothing short of amazing. I'm feeling good, and definitely racing well, and it looks like I will be in top form for my first A race of the year at Prospect Park on April 25.

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