As far as crit courses go, this one had about the least course personality of any and seems to be a twin to this coming weekend’s Ontario rectangle. But some very lively racing made up for the course. Race start time was 8:00 am and I mention the start time yet again because at 6:30 the course was not set-up and Ed Keck was stranded somewhere with the truck filled with everything to put on a race. I’ll also mention that sign in although they set up in a hurry which was understandable, was very slow and didn’t smooth out till we were back on our bikes and warming up. If there is anything on earth that stresses out a bike racer, it’s getting stuck in a sign up line that is frozen in time. But their hard work made for a great recovery!
Abbreviated warm-ups and we started just a couple seconds late. Great job in a pinch! The line up was 16)55’s and 22) 60’s. Pretty decent for a Mother’s Day conflict. I would have to say that if there is a Category where the rider’s mothers are in limited supply, it would have to be the 55/60 groups.
The race started out with CVV’s Steve Borer riding tempo for a few laps to get things moving. The race from that point on was a series of brief attacks and chases, some lasting a bit longer than others, but all being reeled in. Mid race there were two breaks that stayed away for 2-3 laps, but again they were reeled in. Many serious appearing attacks were made alternately by Steve Horine and Mitch Weinstock of UCC. On one occasion, with them both together, myself and , it looked like we would have a serious go at it, but then both UCC riders had a look of confusion and weren’t sure whether to keep it up or let the “UCC Captains” catch us. They backed it down and we were caught.
Ok, so we’re down to about 10 minutes to go and a break of 4 that didn’t really appear to have the proper mix of “Muscle” has been away and is stretching out their gap ever so gradually. Nobody is chasing or even looking like they will. There is a UCC rider in the break in the person of Steve Horine. No UCC’s , that’s a given. And with the exception of one brief “Blast” by Kal, Dale, Kal and Rubcic have been invisible for 30 minutes sitting in the group.
I chase leaving turn 2, taking off and after about a lap, I’ve made contact with the break and several riders are strung out behind me. As soon as I made contact with the four, Mitch Weinstock attacks and takes off. Leaving the entire group scratching its collective butt. What? How did that happen? Whoosh and he’s gone! A chase now with 6-7 minutes to go is suicide for anyone hoping for a top five finish. Nobody is willing to chase now and with the exception of Mike Edwards and Ernie “The large fellow” Hoffer, who gave it a hell of a try, the race had just been decided.
There was one prime as I recall and the bell rang with either 2 or 3 laps to go. Mitch was all alone for that and the final lap giving him a well timed win for UCC!
Between turns 3 and 4, Dale spools it up with several riders scrambling to get on his wheel. The wheel was for Kal and the best of the rest of the scramblers was to be Rubcic. It was Kal and Dale through turn 4 first and then Rubcic going wide which required a brief stop in pedaling for me (foolishly trying to go around him on the outside) to avoid a cement sandwich. Howard Miller did a great move up the inside for fourth and once I was back up to speed, Loren Stevens nipped me at the line. Rubcic was the 60’s winner with Loren, Paul Springer and the ever resilient Bruce Steele (he was sick and missed last weekend’s festivities!), right behind. A good sized field and UCC took the top three positions again. Same as Barrio last week!