July 13

15 Jul

Brooks Integrative Training athletes were everywhere over the past weekend; Adam Perler raced on the velodrome Friday night followed by a slew of riders active on Saturday and Sunday. The Annual Ride Across Indiana (RAIN) left Terre Haute at 6 a.m. Saturday, traversing the central part of the state to Richmond. The gradual uphill grind was made more relentless with a 10 mph head wind. Josh Ginsburg led the B.I.T. athletes with a fine time of 7:46. Josh made it to mile 130 unscathed in the lead group. However, he burned a match or 3 at mile 115 when he took a stab at getting away, but the wind was too much to overcome.

Although Josh missed his mile 130 food and fluid sag support he did not panic and was awarded for his patience when a fellow SAG supporter provided him with a bottle of fluid and a draft back into the main bunch. Once back in the main group, surges came and went. At about 153, the pack made another surge up what was essentially the last incline. With a mixed tempo, they punched the final portion at 21 mph and Josh paid for that mile 115 Match Burning episode by being popped from the lead group. Josh acknowledges it was a lesson learned, having been sent to the spank bank, and one he will remedy next year. Defiant to the end, Josh made sure to sprint home at the front of the 2nd group.

It should be noted Josh travels all over the place and rarely has a full week at home to train. Josh mixes running and riding with his hectic travel to maintain enough fitness to complete something as arduous as the RAIN. Well done, Josh! Phelgar Washington and Ken Green also rode the RAIN, completing the ride in 9:20. I have no summary from either of them, but I can guess that Kenny, known affectionately as Second Half Green, likely came alive and took monster pulls from Greenfield to Richmond, and probably was the leadout man for Sprinting Machine Washington.

Andy Wagoner volunteered his time for the Indy Crit serving as a ride leader for the 38 mile CIBA ride before the racing began Saturday morning. Others volunteering for the Indy Crit included Robin and Anthony Barr, Ashley Koss and Preston Conrad, all serving as course marshalls during the day’s early events. After a hot day in the sun on Saturday, Preston went up to Kokomo for the Colavita Time Trial Sunday Morning. Preston completed the 12.21 mile course in 29:11 for an average speed of over 25 mph and finished 4th in the 60+ age group. Nice work, Preston!

Indy Crit

In its fourth year, Indy Crit is one of two premier downtown races. This year featured live music, BMX free style performances, strider bike racing, yoga instruction, and plenty of vendors, cycling and non-cycling alike, including the all important Beer Garden by Sun King Brewery. In addition to the usual category races, the event also featured celebrity races, kids races, and a tandem race. Yngvar and his wife, Kris, placed 3rd in the Tandem race.

My participation included competing in the Masters 40+ race, along with at least 68 other old men in lycra. I was joined by my teammate and friend, Hans Ibold of Bloomington. Hans has trained with me for two winters now and although he does not race much, he is quite strong. Also among the competitors was Jim Creamer, friend of B.I.T.

Creamer and I

Creamer and I

As is my wont, I think about races in the days leading up to the event. Of the 69 pre-registered racers I made a list of 10 or so guys I thought had a chance to win, with a few riders holding a greater percentage to win than others on my list. Curtis Tolson and Ben Weaver have each won a number of races this year and both featured on my top line. My outsider to crack the top line was Court Maple of MOB Squad. As a young man Court joined a US amateur team and raced in Belgium one summer, placing high enough in several races to provoke at least one pro team to offer him a contract. Court chose to come home, start his career and family and never looked back. His experience however, speaks volumes to his abilities. I saw Court dominate the Ft. Wayne race in May, prompting me to place him on my top line.

Creamer challenging on the outside

Creamer challenging on the outside

The course features 8 turns, although none of them tight enough to cause selection as is the case on more technical criterium courses such as Bloomington Grand Prix. As such, speeds were high from the get go. Rider after rider took flyers off the front. As early as lap 3 I followed a rider’s move and then continued for perhaps half a lap at warped speed at which point I looked under my arm to see a long line of frothing-at-the-mouth riders ready to attack so I wisely eased off the gas.

Unfortunately, the wide course lends itself to swells and reshuffles  when the pace slightly slows and I found myself too far back in the pack. A lap or two after my unwise excursion a group of 10 (most of whom were on my list) or so formed off the front and were rapidly pulling away. Finding room on the outside of turn 3 I moved up into position and by turn 4 I was full gas bridging to the fleeing group. This was the hardest part of the race for me. After half a lap I latched onto the group. But the peloton wasn’t quite finished yet and managed to claw its way back into contention another lap or two later.

On the chase

On the chase

Court Maple and Bryan Boggs launched attacks through the middle portion of the race while Weaver, Tolson and others kept a vigilant eye on the proceedings, making sure nothing escaped without them. And then at the 30 minute mark the pack slowed. Fatigue set in as riders reached for bottles and others slumped over handlebars in a collective sigh of relief.

In that moment of respite, Court Maple attacked and no one responded. Court quickly grabbed a 20 second advantage which he maintained for the final 15 minutes of the race. Digging deep into his vast reservoir (dare I say suitcase?) of talent and experience, Maple fought through the initial leg burn into the zone, where the big gears churned almost effortlessly with each passing lap.

Riders on my second tier of contenders came to the fore, carrying the action over the final 15 minutes, but none truly working together to form a concerted chase effort. With 4 laps to go I found myself in 4th wheel, a safe spot so late in the race. With three laps to go Hans came forward and took a flyer with two other riders, putting the onus on others to chase, keeping the speed high through two laps to go. At 1.5 laps to go there was a crash back in the pack. You never want to hear a crash, but when you do, it gives you a jolt of fear-drenched adrenaline and those up front raise the speed several notches.

Early in the race

Early in the race

Among those near the front at the start of the final lap were Tolson and Weaver. Sweeping through turns at over 30 mph, 8 or 10 of us seperated from the group as we headed into the final stretch of the course. Weaver kicked early with Tolson in tow and those two closed to the line in that order, taking 2nd and 3rd behind Maple’s phenomenal solo effort.

I crossed the line in 7th, happy to place in the top 10 and glad I was not caught up in any crashes. Hans made a fantastic recovery after his late flyer by recovering to finish in 13th place. Jim Creamer finished in the top 20 as well. Jim informed me after the race that we averaged 26.8 mph. I initially doubted him, but he shared his data and it was spot on. My doubts were further alleviated on Sunday when my quads verified the effort.

Post race was enjoyed in the company of Preston, Robin and Anthony, Ashley, Brad Lawson, Susan Mowery, Mike Langon and Chris Richter. Special thanks to Scott Brooks for his excellent photography. You can see more of Scott’s art at http://www.scottbrooksphotografix.smugmug.com

Although the next event scheduled was the Great Egyptian Omnium, circumstances mandate that I stay home, so it’s on to the State RR in Fishers this weekend, followed by more criterium racing the following weekend. If I don’t see you at the races, remember we have Monday Night Recovery Rides. These are SOCIAL and not hammerfests. The ONLY racing is to be first to the cooler of beer after the ride.

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