NYC Spring Series; 3/4 race; April 27th. by Mihael
After flatting last week and botching up the sprint in the last two competitive races I was looking forward to another shot at a result. 100 riders line up. Last race of the series, great weather. Paul was in my race, Kuria was in the P-3, and Rick 45+. I’m not doing any specific training, so I’m hoping the warmer weather and more commuting days on the bike will do the trick. However, the miles are still low as well as the confidence. I would say to myself in the back of the race, sometimes out loud, “you have fresh legs” and “you can win the sprint, maybe the race”. They were true statements, but as usual I felt fat, out shape and was suffering a bit just sitting in. Thinking how I should have avoided at least some of the garbage I eat. I eat healthy and bad, I eat a lot. I remembered Gary Steinberg’s post on Facebook how he won’t eat the bacon burger until the fall, or some other awesome food that was posted. I eat like that almost every day without hesitation. I have no will power when it’s time to eat. Doing better in races only becomes important when I’m in the race. So I struggle up the hill and almost get dropped when a group of 15 or so are strung off the back as it was windy and we are all in the gutter. I sprint to the back of the field and recover for the finish. Nothing is away, I feel much better, I never understand that part, but I do feel good now. Still, I’m not strong and can only hit the wind so much before the sprint to the line. I stay on the side blocked by the wind and do a couple of surges to stay in the front. We are going slow, there is wall of us, I see Paul begin to pull the field. He is to my left, I’m all the way to the right, but it’s good to see him there. Finally someone jumps, I try and catch his wheel, but can’t. I’m surprised only one other rider passed me as I went pretty early. I imagine a lot of the fast guys got boxed in as I did not see them in the results. I finish 3rd, and I’m happy to get out of the little slump. Maybe this week I can cut out some of the desert or leave out the beacon and cheese of my burgers.
NYC Spring Series; 3/4 race; April 12th. by Mihael
Weather was great, no other races around equaled a great turnout for AVD’s NYC Spring Series.
Me, Chris, Kuria, Eui, Paul, and Dave in the 3/4 race. Anastasia was also there. Our biggest team showing to date. I felt weak, but I’m used to that feeling and was confident I would do well in the sprint regardless. Eui and Kuria were doing their thing at the front but missed the winning 3 man break. I move up for the sprint and see Paul heading to the front with 2 miles to go. I get on his wheel and tell him to take it easy as I wanted him to take me as close as possible to the finish. He said we need to catch the 3 up the road which I did not realize were away. They were close. If I felt stronger I would have tried to jump across, it was dooble for me on a good day. I chose to wait and hope we catch them in the sprint. Paul dumps me right before 72nd, I jump on a Foundation train, then Sammy Frias. Sammy often goes early and places, as I started to come around him so did a few other at a much faster pace. I finished top 10 in the sprint but that morning I thought I would have won it. I set the expectations too high, so I was disappointed. Eui was a place or two ahead of me, which also pissed me off because he should have been leading me out, or me him. We’ll work on that. Some of us went to Piermont as the temps were climbing to 70 degrees and all was good in the world gain. Below is a video of the finish. If you look really closely you can see me and Eui.
Kuria’s Rawway Crit report
Eui and I did the Cat 3 Race and the 35+ . Racing in the Cat 3 was fast and aggressive. Few break attempts but nothing stuck. Going into the final turn for the finish, I worked to get about to about 4th or 5th wheel – things got really dicey and some guy in full nervous mode pretty much knocked into me – basically taking my front wheel out. Had to unclip to prevent going down – clipped back in for a futile sprint for 23rd – of course at that point the guy who bumped into me had already sat up.
Eui took 10th place in the sprint. Great job. I have to say watching him all through the race, he seemed to be able to hold his position and be in the right place almost effortlessly. Looked super comfortable on the bike and in the pack.
35+: The pace initially was a little slower than the Cat 3 race. By the time we got started temps were already in the mid 70’s. Things started to get a little strung out, and I was feeling it. Legs felt heavy. I looked up at the sharp end of the field and who do I see – Eui right up front. Again he looked completely relaxed! Eventually a break of about 5 got away. I jumped to bridge and I think 2 followed. I faded just as we were about to bridge and the other 2 latched on to the break – which went on to stay away for the rest of the race. There really wasn’t a cohesive chase established by the field – a few guys that had teammates in the break were doing a pretty good job neutralizing any attempts to close the gap. At one point Eui took a hard pull with me on his wheel and opened up a nice gap. I was toast at that point and useless as far as being able to work with him. I dropped out of the race minutes after that. Not sure at this point, but looked like Eui may have finished 4th in field sprint for maybe 11th place??
Still want more? Check out Eli’s Raway report. It mentions Kuria and refers to Eui. It’s always a fun read.
Lucarelli & Castaldi, Prospect Park, April 5th
I crashed again on my way to work earlier in the week. An SUV signaled left, then signaled right, and then slammed the breaks as it did not see a pedestrian. Trying to go around all those maneuvers led me to slam into the back of his SUV, then fall on the pavement. I was proud my body did not break once again. An achievement in itself at my age, but knew there was more pain to come within the next few days. The driver apologized profusely, asked if I was OK, I was, so rode the rest of the way to work.
Night before the race I stayed in the city at Chateau de Greenberg. It helped me logistically, and it’s always nice to hang with an old friend and team mate. Morning was cold and wet, but I enjoyed riding to Prospect through the dark empty city streets. I often feel particularly low on energy before a 6:30am race, and lower my expectations to just finishing in the pack. I see Dan and tell him about my crash, and how I don’t feel so good, and he smiles as he always hears excuses from me before the start. I also meet after 12 years or so, Eui Lee, who we just picked up on the team the day before. Eui has not raced for that duration and his comeback this year is off to a good start. He also shamefully admitted how much time he thinks about bike racing. I won’t admit that. It is great to see the excitement he brings. Reminds me of when we first got Andrew McGee.
Race was pretty fast, especially if you are in the front trying to escape. I felt better and tried to stay near the front. That feeling was short lived and I parked myself in the back watching the race unfold. Eui was active at the front but missed the key breaks, Paul flatted then jumped back in (see his report below). Eventually 3 groups got away with 17 riders. Eui gave me a lead-out then 2 guys jumped past us, I passed one of those guys but not the other so finished 19th. I’m always happy when I sprint well, even if it means very little as far a results. After any race when you have low expectations it’s always good times.
If you want more, here is Paul’s write up
‘ll have the usual- early season small field (80 riders), annoying weather with a shot Mengoni. Sprint for the first hill prime points with 10 to go turned into the winning break of about 10 riders-the usual suspects (fit guys who stopped saying “I need to lose 10lbs” b/c they’ve actually lost 10lbs). They went ballistic for the pts and just kept going. The rest of us crested the hill huffing and puffing and thinking “I need to lose 10lbs”. Eui was looking pretty good for a guy who hadn’t raced in a decade, and Mihael was solidly locked in the tail gunner’s seat. All we had to do was hang around for the field sprint. Easier said than done as yours truly pinch flatted (a tubular no less!) with 9 to go. I went back to the car for a spare and got back in with 4 to go? 3 to go? I guess it depended on which you believed the announcer or the signage. I almost jumped into a group of 4 that I thought were off the back, turned out they were a little chase group off the front. Glad I didn’t get in their way. Anyway, I tried to pull our group up to a split that happened on what I thought was the last lap, then I just got out of the way. I heard Mihael sharpened his legs again and took 2nd in the field sprint.
The next day at Bethel: April, 6th
From Kuria. Some redemption today after yesterday’s horror show at Branchbrook . Got into a 4 man break with 2 Six cycle guys and 1 rock star rider. We dropped Rock star rider and lapped the field. Got 3rd place . Sat in on p123 but I was toast.