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2013Columbia-Stevens

Columbia Grants Tomb/Stevens Race Report

Grant's Tomb and Stevens Race Report, By Dan Gray

What an action-packed weekend! There was still snow on the ground and ice on the course, but I think it was some of the best racing I've done yet. At Brett's insistence I wrote up a race report. He thinks that I have the riding skills to hang in the C field, and that I might "race into shape" as the season goes on.
We arrived at Grant's Tomb on Saturday with just enough time so that Callahan was ready to warm up for about 45 minutes to 1 hour before his race. I was impressed that he didn't wear arm or leg warmers for either the warm up or the race, but I guess all that hair keeps him warm haha. (Didn't we nickname him Cousin Itt last year?). Callahan hung with the pace for most of the race, and finished strong a little behind the pack. I thought he rode stronger in the field here than I had seen before - good job Callahan!
For the Men's C, there were 70 riders at the start!! And only 26 finished!! I was nervous since I was feeling sick with allergies. I did about 30-40 minutes of warm up, varying staying warm and breaking the lactate threshold to get me ready to push hard. I joined Joey and Tom for the start, and they lead the front, but were then dropped to the middle, and then the back of the pack. I had just been hanging out with the pack, middle and back, waiting for people to tire themselves out. Soon Tom and Joey were back with me, and we rode together until they dropped off. After about 4 laps I lost touch with the pack, and then went another 4 or so until I was pulled. I tried to ride smart instead of hard, but in retrospect I spent a little too much time riding in the wind rather than being a wheelsuck, and might have done better if I was not feeling sick.
Unfortunately I missed most of Maureen's race, although I hear she did very well. I did check out the awesome running finish that Neal had!! He had a front wheel flat in the middle of his race, and coming into the finish someone totaled his rear wheel in a crash.
Stevens was a great day to race, and I was rested. I went up alone to the race at 8am (I don't mind driving at 5:30am for Callahan, but it was nice to sleep in :), and met up with Joey and Maureen there. I went out riding the course with a Men's B rider from Pitt to warm up, but after about a mile, his tube was overinflated and the tire jumped out from the wheel!! We let air out of the tube and tucked the tire back into the wheel (it was a Kyrsium, btw), and we rode slowly back to the course. Then, Joey and I went for a ride to warm up, and got back to join the Men's C field with seconds to spare. I hung with the pack for about 1.5-2 laps, but then got dropped.
At this point, a UNH, UVM,, a Dartmouth, and Joey and me started working together to get us back to the pack, or at least finish strong. Joey dropped off from us after about 2.5 laps. We started pickup up the debris from the C field, with an RPI guy joining us, and saw a bunch of B riders who had fallen back.There was traffic and even motorcycle on course that we fantasized about motorpacing with... The UNH guy was complaining, and on the last lap started picking it up and dropped the rest of us. I was just happy to be riding and not being pulled! On the final climb to the finish, I took a sketchy line through the decent and had a pinch flat right before the start of the climb. I gingerly rode through to the finish, but was worried that I had damaged the wheel. I was about 10 minutes behind the finisher, but probably lost 2-3 minutes on the final climb
I was really happy with my performance though, and would gladly do it again (haha wait that's next weekend!). See you all at the Phlyer and Temple Crit, and it looks like I might be the only one going to Bard!!
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Page last modified on March 27, 2013, at 05:56 PM