Wells Ave, B Race, May 21, Kevin Hetherington-Young
Roy Van Cleef and I contested the Wells Ave B race on Sunday. Congrats to Roy for a well-earned 3rd. After reading about his crash at Sunapee, I can see why he was so motivated.
The race was mostly uneventful until the sprint. I took the first prime and then watched the BRC train on the rest of them to size up their leadout tactics. They had their leadout working quite well and had more horsepower for it that any other team, NEBC included. I really wanted to come out of turn 4 in fourth wheel or so at the back of their train. Roy did a lot of great work patrolling breaks.
I blew the sprint on the backstretch by getting myself boxed in on the right just as the BRC train was forming. I should’ve seen this coming. Roy was on my wheel, but I didn’t realize that ‘til later. At this point, I was busy enough trying to get unstuck, inhibiting my situation awareness. The BRC leadout actually split the group in turn three about ten riders back. I had to burn a match closing the gap and squeeze inside someone right at the curb to do it. I hooked up in the back of the front group just as the final sprint began.
At this point, we could’ve done with a little better communication and more nimble tactics. I.e. if I’d bothered to look back and see Roy on my wheel and knowing I didn’t have enough juice left to take it to the line, I coulda woulda shoulda gone all out to get Roy up closer to the front for his sprint. I literally didn’t see him until he blew by me and gained about 10 meters to the group ahead. He clawed his way up to third on raw power. For me, this was simply a case of needing to do a better job recognizing when your own tactics aren’t working and rejiggering them to aid a deserving teammate. I can’t help but wonder if I could’ve gotten him up into first or second. Sorry Roy. You did a nice sprint and in my mind, earned the right to a leadout. I’d like to see you sprint without a broken wrist sometime. :)
Final result: Roy 3rd, Me 8th, other NEBCers – don’t know