Sturbride race report, cat 3/4 - Roy Van Cleef - 4-30-07
Roy Van Cleef
7 laps of a 6.5 mile circuit with one gentle climb and one short steep climb and a long 1.5 mile straight leading into a slightly downhill finish. A good turnout with about 90 starters and a pleasantly mild day. The plan was to work hard near the front and chase down breaks and hopefully stay at the front to lead out Dave Chiu and/or Scott for the finish.
The pace was pretty mellow and there was no shortage of attacks. Half of them probably coming from Dave Rizzo when he wasnâ€™t busy driving the pace at the front of the pack. I attempted a little break in lap 2 but didnâ€™t stay away for more than a couple of minutes and nearly went out the back of the pack when I got caught. It took a while to recover and my stomach didnâ€™t feel great (note to self: No eating leftover curry before races). I think there were two crashes during the race but I wasnâ€™t near either of them. Apparently one was quite impressive with someones wheel going airborne independently of the rest of the bike.
None of the breaks stayed out there very long except for two guys who stayed away a whole lap. John was doing a lot of work near the front to chase things down as well as Dave R. The final lap came a little unexpected as I was in the middle somewhere. I quickly found Dave and told him to follow me. We slowly worked our way through the field and on the final straight we caught up with John who had Scott right on his wheel. I think we were about 8th wheel at that point. I saw a little gap open up on the very right side of the road, peppered with grit and sand. I went into it with Dave still yelling at me to let me know he was still there. Another rider moved in front of me and started his sprint with about 600 to go but pulled off after about 200m. There was a surge on the left and all the riders in the middle were being swallowed up. I got up and sprinted in our little gutter lane but there wasnâ€™t any room to pull over and let Dave through. So I just kept going to the line at 40-45mph and Dave finished right on my wheel with plenty of gas left in his legs.
We finished 6th and 8th respectively and Scott and John got 14th and 18th while Justin was also in the top third at 27th. Iâ€™m sure in hindsight we could have done a little better but Iâ€™m also just glad we finished on our wheels.
As a short epilogue….
Dave C and I got a few laughs watching the guy who won the race turn into the parking lot and hit one of the speed bumps awkwardly at about 2mph and topple on to the ground. Itâ€™s never nice to laugh at other peoples mishaps but sometimes you just canâ€™t help it. He was fine (but embarrassed).