Monday, March 09, 2009

Menlo Park GP

Menlo Park GP Race report.

Category: P 1/2/3

Teammates: Nate

Field 100+

Placing: 47th overall (14th E3)

I did the 3’s race a few years ago and had the bad luck to break a spoke in my rear wheel in the final sprint and coasted to 16th from the top 5. The course used to be a 4 corner industrial park crit, business as usual but this year they added a chicane and about another km to make for a lap of 2.2 km and a 800+m runway for a final sprint! Also new was a P1/2/3 race. After Snelling I decided to register and was glad I did because as soon as they decided to pick 3’s separate- the race filled up quick.

Nate was on the wait list (#3) but got bumped down by the arrival of Jackson Stewart(BMC), Dan Holloway (Slipstream), Ben JM (Bissell) and a few other (for real) pros who decided to grace us with there presence. It was all good as he still got in.

Nate and I rode a pre-lap and got a start position in row 2, not great but not bad either. We start and a few guys in front of me were fumbling with their pedals and I end up mid-pack. For this race, I planned to do whatever necessary to stay in/ on the bubble even at the expense of using a lot of energy. I expected the pace to be as fast as a M1/2/3 race or faster and it was…. 46kph or 28.5mph in American $$. Probley the fastest race I‘ve ever done. I looked down many times and saw 50+kph and thought wow! I don’t feel so bad, I wonder how long I can keep this up?

About mid-way thu the race we finally caught the break we had been chasing for the last 4 laps and I managed to finally move up to the top 15 and enjoy the speed for a few laps. In this race there was a big difference in speed thu the turns. Outside the top 20 had a lot breaking for the chicane and felt like a dam cat 5 race.

Nate and I stayed together well and kept each other in sight for the second half of the race. We had planned to try to stay together and see where we ended up on the final lap.

Well… Nate masterfully got himself in the bubble on the last lap onto the final straight and I was just outside the bubble and could see him. At this point my arms and legs were feeling really tried but felt I had a decent sprint left in me still.

Expecting the field to string out for a fast run in to the finish I started winding up the speed when the field did the unthinkable.. slowed and spread across the road! Ugh

On my left (about where Nate was) there was a very big crash and I had to brake and maneuver almost hitting a guy on the ground. I sprinted right away back up to speed with still 400+ meters to go.. I had the sick feeling Nate was in the crash and started to sit up. Then I remembered that they were picking the 3’s separate and I sprinted again but lost a few spots to some 3’s right in front of me. Opps.

I circled around and indeed Nate was on the grass bleeding so I stopped and looked him over. Torn jersey, broken new helmet, and bloodied leg. I could see the disappointment on his face more than the pain. He was in good position for the final. He knew it; I knew it and we could only sit on the grass and think of what could have been… Luckily he wasn’t hurt to bad.

Next time Nate Dogg.

I then rode home from work after the race, for another 2 hour crush fest in the afternoon head-wind to punish myself in anticipation of things to come (windy Zamora).



Blogger Manley Man said...

I agree w/ the cat 5 comment. I was on the back and thinking the same thing many times through those corners.

Blogger velogirl said...

Nick, thanks for coming out to race. Sorry I missed chatting with you on Sunday.



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