Friday, January 15, 2010

Masters Shellack-Down

In advance . . . thanks to those who made this beating possible:
  • Mark Adkinson, who we all know and appreciate, makes us look a lot faster and stronger and cool-er than we probably really are. See the rest of the showdown pics and more here.
  • The saggers and the course marshals who made sure we had clear roads and clear direction: Robin Rolles... Chief Referee, Jill Bowlus/Ann Kelleher... Lead Support Vehicle One, Mary James... Second Support Vehicle, & Lee Millon... Post Race Hospitality
On to the SHELLACK-DOWN! This year, the 45+ers came out this year with a vengeance. After a near-sweep by the 35+ers last year, 45+ers came out with a plan and the game changed a little:
  1. The race format was changed (to win, teams needed all sprints except the final or 1 sprint + the final sprint)
  2. some 35+ers took their "upgrade" to 45+
  3. many notable 35+ers were many miles away from Davis and unable to make the race

All tallied, the 35+ers were outnumbered 2 to 1, but at least it wasn’t foggy and freezing like 09’:

As you look at the race pictures below, keep in mind that the 45ers are in neutral (non-DBC) kits and the 35ers are in DBC kits. Towards the end of the race, it seems like DBC orange is like Pinocchio being swallowed by Monstro the whale.

Soldier on! Despite wet conditions and anemic numbers, the 35+ers went strong into the first sprint, maybe too early. Fred S got the first point and the race was on.
Enter Steggall and Darin S who jumped off the sprint for a 2-man breakaway. (note the tactic here as it comes up later.)

35ers did their best at bringing the break back but couldn't bridge both for the second and the third point.

After sprint #3, it was time for Lee M to go on a 1-man flyer. This time, it was just Lee and 35+ers made sure to keep him close up to the turn to Runge.
Brian H led Jason G out to the turn onto Runge and Jason came around on the inside and hammered: 1 mile TT to the fourth sprint point to stop the bleeding. Score 45=3, 35=1.
Queue the suspense here . . . this is where you may ask yourself, "what happened next"? Those paying attention should have noticed the M45+ers launched a break each time after the Bulkley sprint.

Tactically, we (35+ers) should have anticipated that, but inexperience beat out the day. Ego taking a front-seat, Jason decided to try to lead Doug R out for the fifth sprint. The sprint down Bulkley is a long sprint from the turn and shorter than the Runge sprint. Also, it's tough to judge for non-regular Davis riders (that's Jason). Fading too early and drifting back, it was obvious that Doug was surrounded by 45+ers. Where were all the 35+ers?
Big (Mr. Bowlus) won the sprint w/ Steggall and us 35ers were starting to get cooked (and popped).
Then Fred and some really fast 45+er dude (seriously . . . at that point it was hard to keep track of all those guys) were off the front. Entre . . . 45+er break #3.

In seriousness, the phantom 45er was Ken Hill & he and Fred executed the break perfectly. That was that. The four 35+ers left in the main group tried organizing a chase, but perpetually found a 45+er in the middle of the rotation or on their wheel. Common theme. No chase could be mounted and the day was done. The break stayed away. 45+ers won the 6th sprint and stayed away for the final sprint. Fred, again . . . but today it was long Freddy and strong Ken, not fast Freddy, who won.

That said, it was all smiles at the end and a great day of racing. It was a great tune-up for race season and always is a good time. Hats off to you 45+ers but take note: 35+ers will be smarter next year. Anyone want to start rallying for Masters Showdown 11'?

Thanks for reading . . . JG

1 comment:

FWS said...

Thanks Jason for the great Race report! It was a very fun day!
Not because of who won, but because
it was the start of what is to be a great season with all those that belong to the Davis Bike Club Race Team. To all that came out and Raced as hard as they could... Thank you!