Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Slayer's Devon Weekend Cat5 race report.

Cat 5 Race Report
The battle of Dan’s good shoulder angel Hans and bad shoulder angel Franz

My mission going into the weekend was to secure two points to get my upgrade to Cat 4. I had a really good time trial and secured the points so the road race on Sunday was strictly for fun and race experience. This is the breakdown of the race and the argument between my shoulder angels and Team ERTC.

At the start of the race on Sunday morning the sky was grey and it looked like we were in for wet weather. One of the Cat 4 Pedalhead riders comes up to me and says “Hey, what does that tattoo say on your calf.” Hans, quite sociable says “Good morning, can you read Chinese?” His response was no so Franz pipes up “It says I am going to pound these Cat 5ers into schnitzel poosies!” I was pretty late in intervening on that one and Hans was mortified.

The race starts and we are cruising along. There were a couple of camera time for the guys that are going to get slammed attacks and I am trying to organize the guys into riding into a pace line as we were heading straight into the wind for 20km. I got the usual response from the guys around me like “Pace line, what’s that?” So I initiate some surges and get some guys riding in an echelon line trading pulls. Hans says “It’s really nice of you to show these independent riders how to ride properly and you are using a nice tone.” Franz yells “Attack these poosies, they are nothing to your pumplitude!”

The ERTC guys come up to me and tell me that there strategy is to do nothing and I am wasting my time. Normal Dan’s reply was “Dude, this is a race, we are currently riding at 15km per hour, you have to be kidding!” That is when one of the ERTC guys surges ahead. The guys says to me, “See, my guy is in front, why would I bridge up to him?” Franz yells at him, “Hey poosie man, he is 30 feet in front of us travelling at 17km per hour, you are a girl and should be embarrassed!”

We got to the first KOM and I finally got some help from Team Cranky and we tempoed right after the summit. We hit the turn around and I blasted off the front for a solo flyer. Hans was quietly talking to me saying “Steady pedaling, watch your effort.” Franz was yelling “Make these poosies SUFFER. (Do I have to quote Stephen Kenny here?) Hit them like the Panzher tanks in the African deserts, GO GO GO GO GO.” I was alone till the middle of the second KOM when I was caught by the chase group and we had secured our breakaway.

With the wind at our backs we hammered. There was 12 of us in the group and we were really gunning for it. Teams were trading pulls, and every chance the ERTC guys could wheel suck, they did. Hans told me, “They look tired, we should let them get more rest.” Franz yelled, “Someone tell those sissy pants they have to work or go ride with the girls!” Dan started yelling (Do I have to quote Michael Godfrey here?) “Hey sausage tits, do some work or get off my wheel!” Hans didn’t like that one, I could hear Franz yelling like a cowboy at Stampede, laughing his a$$ off.

The Velocity boys were really working hard with me and the two independent guys were also strong, we just couldn’t shake ERTC and there “Suck the chrome off a trailer hitch” race plan! Finally after I lead the 77km lead out to the finish, the ERTC guy says, “Dan this our race, let’s go!” That is when Franz yelled back “good work poosie man, never taking a pull and sucking the chrome off my rear derailuer all day guy!”

The end result was me and the boys coming in 8thy place. It was an extremely nice gesture of the Velocity team boys and the independents and the race winner from Cycle Logic to stop after the line and come up to me each one individually to thank me for the work that I did, upping the pace, driving them harder and making them race. They were really cool and want to make sure they can work with us again at the next race, they had a blast. Ryan and Geoff from Velocity were great. Hopefully I can race with those guys again and I know that if my path crosses theirs, they will work with me because we had so much fun and it was a race.

As for the ERTC guys, we were all somewhat disappointed with their lack of effort and intensity, they had the numbers and they should have dictated the race to us, not wheel suck.

I got some great advice from Mr. Stephen Kenny on the way home yesterday. The points will come, the focus should be learning how to race, if you learn how to race and learn the tactics, you’ll get your points. At the end of the day, I knew that I had nothing to lose and I wanted to race. Having 45 guys lolly gag and set up for an entire field sprint finish to me sounds dangerous and after Pigeon Lake, incredibly boring.

To all the guys in Cat 5, pace line riding, echelon riding at supporting each other as a team is the only way to succeed. Learn the tactics from the big dogs like Jared, Steve German and Trev and practice things. The points will come and you will be more satisfied that you went in and you raced the race and not wheel suck and hope to outsprint at the end.

Thanks for a great weekend to Jason, Alex, Michael, Lachlan and Stephen.

‘Slayer’ Dan and the boys.

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