Sunday, June 24, 2012

Epic Teamwork this weekend

Here is my take on the Cat 3 racing this weekend. In a word Awesome. I may not be the most seasoned veteran but the way we were able to work together this weekend was the most organized I've seen a team work since I started all this. Before I go any further a big hat's off to Mike Waldhuber and Marc Enter for a really great job this weekend. First up was the Points/Crit race Saturday night. With Marc Enter displaying such mad sprinting skills this year so far it was an easy decision to make him leader for the night. Now I've been on both ends of attempted lead outs in the past and have never seen it done right once, let alone 5 times (should have been 6 but I can't always understand basic instructions, nor count to 5). FIVE TIMES PEOPLE! Marc obliged by nailing first twice picking up the silver cupcake missing gold by a mere 2 points (damn you Holmes!!)

 Next morning was the 125km road race. Cross winds and a rolling course made it a race of attrition. The plan was to work for Mike and as the group slowly whittled away. Down the home stretch Marc laid down some vicious attacks that dropped the final few guys and we were down to 8. It looked very much like a sprint was inevitable so Mike selflessly offered up one of the most impressive displays of self mutilation I have ever seen. He hit the front from about 3-4 Km to go and stayed there, holding off the whole group till the final Kilo. Marc drove it home with another impressive display of power. An early jump, some cramping and a (later discovered) flattish rear wheel meant the best I could sum up for their efforts was a 3rd place, but the finish cannot do justice to the work that went into it.

 I received several congratulations over the weekend, not on our results but on how our group worked as a team. Personally what impressed me the most was not only how well everyone understood their rolls but the flexibility with which we applied our plan, jumping in for each other and generally riding for a team victory. I my mind, best weekend ever. Great Job to the event organizers, this weekend was a favorite of mine last year too. Make sure you put it on your list next year. It was a riot.

 Dave H

13 comments:

Marc said...

Excellent summation Dave. Massive hats-off to yourself and Mike. You have echoed my sentiments precisely. After perfect execution of the lead outs in the crit it took a perfect sweep of the laps we didn't get to beat us.... and unfortunately thats what happened. No shame in 2nd place to that effort.

As for the road race - I can't believe we all survived until the end of that mother. I think subconsciously each of us knew the other 2 relied on our individual efforts and so " BEING DROPPED" was totally a unacceptable outcome.

I really enjoyed the "domestique" role. Dishing out some pain "a few false sprints" to try and break up the pack and expend some sprint energy was strangely quite satisfying.

Once again kudos goes to Mike for taking first stand in the lead out train. Especially when it turned out that his 2km turn, started early - our fault, and finished late - finish line's fault - and was more like a 4km super turn! Closest we came to catastrophe would had to have been when strong crosswinds, deep dished rims, being too close, the wobbles we both got from being at the limit for so long - all combined and resulted in an epic battle between the spokes of my front 404 vs Mike's rear quick release lever. What sounded like two skeletons going for it on a tin roof, seemed to go on forever but somehow we both stayed up and put the hammer back down to continue the lead out. Awesome stuff!

Best part of the race was paying back the favour of excellent service during the crit! Thanks lads.

Great team mates, great team work - Cat 3. Now to find a loop hole to get out of being promoted.... hmmmm.

cyclingphysio said...

Hey Marc, I checked and I still have 3 points to go. Find that loophole!!

Reinier Paauwe said...

Great work everyone this weekend, it was indeed mighty impressive!
Also congrats to Peter for silver medal in the cat 5 crit, fifth in the RR, and upgrading!

As for me, representing in my first 2 cat 4 races, I had a blast too!
I finished with a respectable 5th in the crit and a 4th in the RR, both of which ended in bunch sprints.

Here are a couple of pics of the mighty 3's:

start line

podium

MikeW said...

Thanks guys! For my first Cat 3 experience it sure was fun. I look forward to more outings like that - where we have a game plan and execute it.

I really liked that Crit and the points system. If anybody gets the chance you need to do this format. It keeps the race interesting and increases the level of gamesmanship. Like Dave said, we were just 2 painful points away from taking the Gold. I think where we failed was not knowing the preme's that Marc didn't win were all won by the same guy. They need a live leaderboard out there!

For us all to be in the final selection for the RR was cool, and shows how strong the team was. We dropped all of the PRW guys and the winner of the Crit the night before. I was just happy to be there at that point so was quite willing to channel Jens Voigt at the end there and have a better sprinter go for it.

Congrats on upgrading Marc! It's too bad for us Cat 3's, but I'm sure our 1/2 group will be happy to see you ride with them. Hopefully we can get a few more guys in three before Superweek.

cyclingphysio said...

Congratulations Reinier and Peter. Didn't get to watch much of the other races with the whole fam damily around. Great Job!

Marc said...

Photos that tell it all from the Crit. Big shout out to my mate Jeff for taking these awesome shots!!!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150878120487007.406471.517867006&type=1

Reinier Paauwe said...

BOO to private facebook links...

Marc said...

https://plus.google.com/photos/104722818319665046707/albums/5758019267112671953

Reinier Paauwe said...

Thanks! Very nice shots!

Marc said...

Well its official - Reinier you need to get into Cat 3. I've opened up a spot :(

Hoop said...

Amazing work boys, it pains me to have not been part of it!

Hoop said...

Amazing work boys, it pains me to have not been part of it!

AlanO said...

Awesome work cat 3 and 4. I witnessed the cat3 crit and it was very cool.

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