RideTheWorldCups … track racing is fun
yup … this weekend was my first race in a couple months. Last time i strapped on spandex for a finish line has to be … Dunnigan. Dunnigan the road race – where my pal, JonEropkin, had a front wheel explode on him at 30+mph ~ well, disintegrate actually.
Last year Dunnigan was the race where i crashed myself out and broke most of my universe. This year is where Jon was the unlucky recipient of a freak incident you never want to hear about – let alone see your friend strapped to an EMT’s board because of it.
But, JonE has recovered well, with the help of his wife, Jamie ~ who is a pretty rockin’ chick around the central valley bike world of promoting the sport, races, and community involvement.
Good people … even if they do live in Fresburg.
After the morning’s heavy, but inspiring Memorial Ride and Monument dedication, a bunch of us skooted over to the Velodrome to participate in a great fundraiser for Shelley Olds as she chases the EVER-CHANGING criteria to make the next Olympic Team.
That’s right, the Talent Pool criteria we just went through for this year’s Olympic selection fiasco has now changed and … well, who knows what it will be for 2012.
The bottom line is – Shelley needs to compete against the best in the world. She needs to learn how to win against the best riders and she needs our support to do it. .
And it is an honor to support such a rider.
In the opening Scratch Race – it would be Shelley Olds, your local National Scratch Champion, using the final 20 meters of the race to barely overtake and win the race from young Daniel Holloway, your other local National Scratch Champion (among 4 other medals he took home from US NATZ).
And so, just to recap – with DaveMcCook’s wins, Hellyer Velodrome has 4 US Elite Scratch Championships in the past 3 years.
… I’m just saying.
… well, glad you asked. You see, DHolla is becoming a TRUE champion. It was a pleasure to watch Holloway out there riding around the track, with the solid, grounded confidence of a real professional.
Yeah, he’s still young and still getting better on the bike and in the head – but, let me tell you, it was impressive to see Daniel out there riding with the confidence and … class of a man who is realizing his dreams, and learning he has the power to help others attain theirs, as well.
Anyway, all cockbockery aside ~ the way the race ran down in the ScratchRace was that BenJacquesMaynes and DannyH drove the pace pretty much at their control-zone, and everyone else’s puke-zone for 30 laps, or so.
or, maybe it was just me.
The pace was solid and fun and we all did our best to not look too slow compared to the pro’s. With only a few laps to go, Holloway broke away from what was left of the field and started off towards the finish line.
I popped like the housing market, but was reinvigorated when BJM looked back and decided to wait a bit for me. Well, I already had his plan beat – as i was looking back to grab Shelley myself. So, needless to say, there was a half-lap of slowness.
Holloway decided to stay out there solo – and put in a decent burn, opening up an almost half-lap lead on us, before we three could get tagged together and start rotating to give chase.
Well, i think we rotated – but all i really remember was opening up that long-closed can of suffering that had been hiding in my pocket for a few months – opening it up and gurgling that thing down like a junky off the wagon. And, hellman, i put EVERYTHING left into the pedals to try and stay on BJM’s wheel as he lit up the sky chasing DHolla down.
For a full couple laps, Ben went to the front and drilled it. Now, we all know that the speeds at this time of year aren’t ‘the real deal,’ so to speak … it IS off-season, afterall. But, i’m telling you – the speeds may not be, but the PAIN is very, very real … and it hurt so bloody bad just trying to not get blown off Ben’s wheel for those 600meters.
But … i couldn’t let go of his wheel because i had Shelley on mine. Yup, the only thing that kept me from shriveling up and floating off of Ben’s rear wheel like a dying autumn leaf was the fact that Shelley was behind me, suffering just as bad, training hard for her upcoming WorldCup events. And i knew that if i let the gap open, she’d have one hell of a hard time covering it back to Ben’s wheel.
so, i stayed. barely.
And, scripted though it wasn’t – how much fun was it that the Best Domestic American Professional Bike Racer, BenJacquesMaynes, was chasing down the new, great American Track racing sensation, DannyH … with Olympic hopeful, Shelley Olds on the hip and willing to take in all the pain of effort and try her damndest to put in a sprint for the win.
And that’s exactly what she did.
Thanks Dan, thanks Ben, thanks Shelley and everyone else who came out and showed how much we can all accomplish if we just keep trying.
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