Bob Beal Memorial Crit

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eboos
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Bob Beal Memorial Crit

Post by eboos » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:00 pm

Bob Beal Memorial Crit 35+ Cat 4/5
Ninigret Park, RI

Over the course of the year I confirmed what I had suspected for a long time: I suck at climbing. Thankfully there would be none of that at Ninigret. Showed up early and squeezed out my third poop for the morning and then started getting my gear ready. Paul Leduc, following a trend established at Cyclonauts, asks me what my game plan is. Being that I have no team mates in this race my game plan was to "go counterclockwise reasonably fast." For how many laps? "As much as the leaders." Brief backstory: at Cyclonauts I swore that I was just going to sit in and not do anything until the end. As soon as the race started I threw that plan out the window and chased everything down like an unleashed dog. With 6 laps to go I was gassed and threw away what could have been a great finish. Realistically, my game plan was to stick with Christian Roos from Bikeworks and the guys from 545 Velo.

At the start, we got off the line in a very easy fashion. I was second wheel behind Paul. He was taking a very tight line and I just didn't like how it rolled so I dropped back to around 4th or 5th after about a lap. Suddenly Christian's teammate attacks and nobody follows. He gets out ahead and the rest of the pack is content to leave him there. As the laps go on, the gap increases. Paul, after having shuffled a bit, rolls beside me and asks if I think he will stay away. I say "I don't think so, and neither does the field." 6 or 7 laps in the two guys from 545 (Leonardo Boiocchi and David Dreher) start the chase with Christian, myself, Paul and Stedman's Steven Hopkins, joining. This was a hard effort but we closed the 30 second gap in one lap. This turned out to be a critical moment in the race because it shattered the field.

Once caught, Christian's teammate was dropped (and later withdrew). The majority of the race to follow was Leonardo in 1st, Christian 2nd, David 3rd and me 4th. The way this was running it looked like David was being setup for the win. I was pretty confident that I would perform well as long as I was able to hang on. 16 laps to go - doing fine. 12 laps to go - still just fine. 8 laps to go - take a swig from my bottle, everything fine. 5 laps to go - someone is going to make a move right? 2 laps to go - ok, here it is, the pace is going to increase... isn't it? Right now I know that I am actually in this. I look back and we had lost Paul so it is just the five of us in the lead group.

Last lap I try to stay out of the wind as much as possible and ensure I am setup in the last two corners. 4th wheel is right where I wanted to be provided everyone was close. Approaching the last corner I drop 2 gears and start to build some momentum. I stay tucked in until the group splits for the sprint. I pass David and suddenly I realize that I could actually take this! I continue a hard effort down the straight and I am closing on Christian and Leonardo. Crossing the line I am at Christian's crank. 3rd place. +0:00:00.08 time difference from second and +0:00:00.19 from first. My first real podium finish!

What could I have done differently? I was really expecting David to be the guy setup for the win. I didn't think that Leonardo was the one to take it from the front. Christian thought the same thing. What I could have done is pass David prior to the last corner and I would have been better situated to take Christian and Leonardo in the sprint. Fall River is next, and with a little elevation... well, let's just see.

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Jacob
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Re: Bob Beal Memorial Crit

Post by Jacob » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:23 pm

Woot!

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KTeves
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Re: Bob Beal Memorial Crit

Post by KTeves » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:37 pm

Congrats Eric! Nice job 👍
KT

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eboos
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Re: Bob Beal Memorial Crit

Post by eboos » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:44 pm

Thanks. I take it as a sign you are in good company when everyone on the podium with you has a European accent.

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Mkidd3
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Re: Bob Beal Memorial Crit

Post by Mkidd3 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:47 am

EBOOS!!! Great job!!

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davidmccay
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Re: Bob Beal Memorial Crit

Post by davidmccay » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:40 pm

Very cool, Eric. Congrats.

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