Monday, May 31, 2010

Superior Morgul Road Race, with Pictures!

The short story, we dominated this race.  There wasn't a single moment where there wasn't a primal rider either off the front, sitting 2nd or 3rd wheel, or both.  Now the long story:

The neutral rollout was mostly, well, neutral.  I started in the very last spot so I had to hustle around a bunch of people to get to the front before the weird roundabout corner.  Here we are going around that corner together. (Click for bigger pictures)
If you clicked, you saw that Garrett, Myself, and Dan were all in the top 10 around the first corner, and leading up to the hill the first time.  Suydam wanted to push it up the hill to test the pack, and he made us all suffer.  Seen here:
I'm suffering, Garrett isn't, but lots of the people behind us are suffering too.  We didn't manage to break anybody off here, but we're establishing our presence, and making people hurt.  

Shortly after we crested "THE WALL," Suydam attacked solo on the rollers over the ridge.  He was only off the front alone for a few minutes until the pack caught  him, but primal was watching the front the whole time, and made it known that everybody chasing was working for us now.  After Suydam got caught, there was a descent (seen here):
How do you like that lineup?  Can you guess which way the wind is blowing?

 "Be at the front, not on the front" bitches.  Crosswind means that both me and Suydam are drafting.  Guy in the blue Duke jersey has no idea what's coming.

There we go...

When the pack slowed on the other side of the descent, Suydam waited all of 2 minutes before he attacked again.  A very well timed attack actually, it put him in front of a group off the back of the P12 field, so very few people in our group even noticed he was gone.  Shortly after, 3 others bridged, and one of them took Thor Lochell with them, so now there was a lead group of 5, with 2 Primal members.  Back in the pack people were doing a fair amount of effort to get them back.  Most of the work was done by Matt Benti, his Rio Grande teammate, and a guy in some jersey with a jesus cross on the back. 
Here is Garrett's group crossing the finish off the front for the start of lap 2:

He was off the front for about a lap and a half and we caught his group on the roller just before we got back to the wall.  
Here I am trying to hurt the people who were working to get Suydam's group back:
None of them are around.  Good job Suydam.  Sidenote: the 14y/o garmin kid behind me is a beast, and ended up in 2nd place...

On the rollers after the hill, I tried to get a group going but everybody was apparently too tired from chasing Garrett down.  After the feed zone hill I attacked in slow motion.  I just sort of rode off the front.  Cadence: about 7 RPM.  I looked back to a 20m gap and saw that the pack was 8-wide, which meant nobody was chasing.  Woohoo!  I buried my head and let the suffering commence.  By the turn onto HWY 93 I had a 20 second gap and it just kept growing.  While off the front I got encouragement from Mark Agcaoili and Garret Davis.  I also saw plenty of Rob Helton, who was supporting DFT and rooting for Primal.  I was off the front for a lap and a half.  The way the time gaps were growing, I knew Suydam and Jesus (baby, not jersey) must have been keeping the chase efforts to a minimum.   Here I am alone on one of the descents:
Cancellaric, if I do say so myself.

By the time I got to the base of the final "THE WALL" the moto told me I had 2 minutes.  I spent the rest of the climb wiping the snot off my face so that I'd look presentable at the finish line.  Would they cheer?  Would I get my picture taken, my name announced by the wildly excited announser guy?  Sadly, no.  Nobody except Michelle and Helton realized I was off the front of the 3's field and not off the back.  I zipped up and gave my salute anyway.  I realize this was quite possibly as good as it's ever going to get, and I enjoyed it as much as I could.

As much fun as it was to win a race solo off the front (FUCKING AMAZING), I realize that this was a team effort.  Suydam's work in the first 2 laps is the only reason I was able to escape.  The fact that I was allowed to stay away, and gain time for the rest of the race, is a testament of how well Primal controlled what was left of the pack.

Next up: Dead Dog Destruction.  Let's do this.

Linked images belong to Dejan Smaic at  The rest came from smugmug, but don't have any copyright info, so I don't know who to give credit to...

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