Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ray the Welder

In an article in Velo News (I think) a pro rider (Vande Velde?) coined a term I thought was pretty funny and quite perfect. There is always a Welder in a race. Thats the guy who doesnt attack or try to get away, just brings back everything for no reason.

We also call that negative racing too. But in essence that was my job tonight at Westlake. I wasnt sure where my fitness was so I didnt think I could do anything special myself so Brian and I decided that it would be best if I took some pressure off of him (since hes been doing the Westlake thing solo for awhile now). So anytime he was off in a break, as soon as he came back it was my job to bring back the field to the next break.

Fast forward to 2 laps to go and I think I am "welding" the pack back to an attacking Shawn Adams. But i guess I went a bit too hard so they let me go and I catch Shawn, take a pull or two, but we get caught. I didnt expect anything else, but I kept Brian drafting. Then Riccardi went, then Rudy got off the front and I went after him too.

Now that in retrospect was kind of dumb. I should have let RGF chase them down and just stayed near the front and rested. But tired form my move with Shawn I go after Rudy and bring us back.

Then its one to go and off the front just a bit is an RGF and maybe a Lake Effect as we come around the 2nd turn. Ive got Brian behind me so I pick it up and as we catch the two we blow right past. I glance back and see weve got a little gap so I keep pulling to the corner and past the baseball fields.

At the cop turn I am already whipped and I slow down a bit, but no noe comes by. I take that breather then puush again really hard and as we hit the last two turns Brian is encouraging me to keep pulling, but onto the finish straight guys start to come around on the inside, then the outside and I put my hand up so I dont get run over. I delivered Brian to the last corner.

Rolling in dead last I see a white car pulls out in front of the field and some guys sit-up and some keep digging. Brian hesitates not wanting to sprint into the back of a car and comes in out of the points!!

In retrospect number 2 I started my leadout for Brian too soon. Too soon for my fitness anyways. Thought thats a long max effort let me tell you, especially unrecovered from two previous hard efforts.. Especially having not done a hard ride since Sept. 7th.

All in all it was a really fun race. It was pretty fast, there was always some action and I got to do some really hard riding and even try my hand at a leadout. And most importantly I didnt suck!!

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