Monday, October 02, 2006

Atlanta Georgia Cup

This past weekend was the last Georgia Cup race of the year. It took place in Atlanta. Saturday was a circuit race on a 2.5 k rolling circuit with 4 turns. The last turn was about 400 meters from the line. The Pro 1,2 race was 20 laps for a 50 k race. There were a lot of good riders this weekend like Frank Travieso from Aerospace and John Murphy (USA U23 National Team). The Subaru team started Tim Henry, David Guttenplan, Wes Garland, Whit Clifford, and me. There were many attacks throughout this race, but none seemed to really go very far. If a gap did get large it seemed like it would get shut down shortly after it got large. For the first half of the race I got in some of these moves, but after a few attempts I believed no moves would stick and I decided to save myself for the bunch kick. With about ten laps to go David was off the front by himself for a few laps. As soon as David was brought back Tim attacked, and Bobby Sweeting (Nerac- Outdoor Lights) and a Colombian rider followed him. Tim timed his attack perfectly because he instantly got a gap of like 30 seconds and it went up to a minute. These guys worked together and stayed away for the rest of the race. From what I heard Bobby attacked on the hill with half a lap to go, and the Colombian rider brought him back. Tim countered this move and rolled in solo for the win. Coming out of the last turn I was 4th wheel right behind David. David went with about 200 meters out and I followed him. I went about 150 meters out because the sprint was a little uphill and won the field sprint for fourth place. David was 4th in the bunch kick for seventh place. This race goes to show that if you really want a break to stick it can if you work hard enough even if the course doesn’t look like it will let a break work.
Sunday was the big day. The Pro 1,2 race was 60 laps on a tough, 4-cornered course that was about 900 meters long. It was uphill from the start line through turn 2, which was off camber, and still went uphill a little after that. Then it was downhill to another off-camber turn three. It was flat and a headwind from turn 3-4 and an uphill drag to the line. The prize list was $10,000 about 30 deep. The winner would get $1250, so our tactic for the day was to attack a lot and try to get away. This race was really fast from the gun. It was so hard I wanted to quit 15 laps in but just kept ticking away. Tim, David, and I followed many attacks, but none seemed to last very long early on. Then Frank Travieso (Aerospace) attacked with about 32 to go. I chased him down and Bobby Sweeting (Nerac- Outdoor Lights) came with me. We worked very well together and got a 30 second gap. I was tired at first so didn’t work so much at first, but after a lap or two I found my rhythm and did my share. Then we got brought back by none other than Bobby’s teammates. It was a kind of crazy tactic if you ask me. Then once again there were a bunch of attacks and primes. I set up Tim for two and David also got one. Then after a really hard point with about 13 laps to go I launched a solo attack. After I lap my gap wasn’t large, but I kept the power down and kept chugging along. The gap increased to about 20 seconds the next lap. Then with about 8 to go John Murphy (USA National Team) decided to chase me down. He got within about ten seconds of me and stayed there until about 2 laps to go it looked like 5 seconds or so. I started to cramp about now, but I just put more pressure on the pedals then and didn’t want a repeat of the Lagrange race a few weeks ago. With one lap to go the gap ballooned out to about 20 seconds. I knew I had the race won then. The next lap I crossed the line with my arms in the air for victory. David won the bunch sprint today and got 5th place. This race went to show that if you are mentally tough and use good tactics you can still achieve victory even if you fell physically tired. I am very proud of how this weekend went. The Subaru team rode cohesively, rode very aggressively, and achieved victory both days. I only have two more weekends of racing left this year. Next weekend is a hometown race for me in Ocala, so I hope I can keep running well.