Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

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jraguin
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Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by jraguin » Sat May 14, 2011 3:20 pm

Summary: My last race as a Cat 5, quite a race, and came in 5th.

Detail: Long report, so bear with me.
Lined up at the start with Tom Keane of 545 Velo. We talked a little strategy about where we might be able to make a break, as both of us have had good results this spring. I did notice a lot of young guys (college & high school age) in the race, which turned out to be an omen of things to come.

Race started, the pace was not hard but harder than the start of the other two races I did in 2011. I was lackadasical, basically riding near the back of the field. We are ¾ through the 1st lap and make the turn onto Highland. I notice the field got really strung out by/on the turn and now the leaders are way in front of me. I start to slowly move up, and then notice a huge gap develop between the first 10 riders at the front and the rest of the field. I start hammering to the front of the 2nd pack and am yelling “Bridge, Bridge!” and hurling some obscenities at the same time (sorry guys including Tom). I am drilling it but so is the front pack so I am closing more slowly than I would like. I am starting to hurt, and I pull right a bit, and Carl and some other guy pull by and I tuck in (Thanks Carl!) It takes one more rotation for the 3 of us to get to the main pack but we do it just before the turn onto Main St. Probably 2 miles of hammering, so I definitely burned a few matches on that.

Now we have this 12-14 rider pack and this CCB guy and this Yellow-Red shirt Irish guy are doing most of the pacemaking duties and are keeping the pace high. I spend most of the time in the 2nd lap trying to recover, and I think it is around now that Carl gets shed off the back because of the pace. On the far side of Hadley road, another attack comes from the front 3, the 4th guy who should bridge is spent, so I hammer and bridge back, towing some guys with me unintentionally.

Pace stays high until we are in the final lap and take the turn onto Birch Meadows. Pace slows, everyone seemingly trying to recover. It got to the point that I thought about attacking, but then someone starts waiving us to slow down, partial neutral, as we pass a few ambulances from some crash in the 4s I think. After we pass that, someone starts to attack, when all of a sudden one guy goes down. The guy in front of me runs straight into him and I just miss both of them and go off the road. I have to uncleat, take a bit of time to get back in, and notice that the 3 lead guys are starting to pull away. I go by a guy who is trying to ask me how the crash happened and I start yelling at him “Go, go, go!!” and drill it. I catch the lead group quickly and they settled up again. Shortly after I pass Scott Sweeney who has a flat from the 4s.

Now we take the final turn onto Highland and now the jockeying begins again. I think about attacking again, but then the Irish guy drills it again. We are now in a line, 4th wheel, and I am looking for an opening. As we hit the slight uphill before the finish, the Irish guy moves right and the other guys go with him so I see an opportunity. I drill it and see people out of corner of my eyes (and wheels) look at me as I go to the front. I am giving it all I got, but as the line gets closer, slowly wheels start coming next to me and slightly past me. I get 5th. I lose by probably 2 bike lengths, with 3rd by only a bike length.

Great race, really a lot of fun, just a number of tactical errors added up the difference between the podium and where I was. Made me feel old as I am chatting with the guys who came in around me and practically all of them were between 15 and 25. Yes, 15.
Last edited by jraguin on Sun May 15, 2011 5:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by rusto » Sat May 14, 2011 4:31 pm

Wow, John: FANTASTIC!
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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by onegeardoug » Sat May 14, 2011 8:31 pm

I prowled around the front of the Cat 4 race for the first 3 laps, looking for a break. I shot out a couple of times, but it didn't work out. Len & I timed a simultaneous break perfectly (but completely unintentionally) and we got a good gap...but he put me in the pain cave and I couldn't pull through. So that didn't work out. On the last 2 laps, I continued to work the front, but as a domestique...trying to keep the race together for our strong men. I put in a big effort on the last half-lap to bring back a solo when nobody else was working. I cooked myself and with 1+ miles to go, I sat up and coasted into the finish for 33rd. Three MRC kits in the $$$. Cha-ching. I'm glad I could contribute and give them a chance.

They can tell their stories...

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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by pace21 » Sat May 14, 2011 8:58 pm

Cat 4 race report -- a very satisfying day on the bike -- Great weather, great course (minus the road surface), great teammates, great racing action, great results for the MRC cat 4 team!

The race started like any other cat 4 race -- i.e. lots of pseudo-attacks, lots of sketchy riding, lots of huge accelerations, lots of huge DEcelerations, etc. Nothing much happened for the first 3 laps, MRC did mix it up at the front though with some breakaway attempts. Nothing gained more than 10-15 seconds though, and it was obvious the field was in no mood to let anything get away. On the fourth lap Len and Doug had a go and I spent some time on the front blocking. It was actually quite fun to block: get on the front, slow down, sense someone coming around, speed up a little and drift in front of them, slow down again, if someone does get by immediately get on their wheel and wait for them to cook, then don't pull through, etc. Lasted for a couple minutes and then all came back together. (Funny side note -- after the first minute or so of my shenanigans on the front, other teams realized what was going on and I heard voices behind me yelling BLOCKING!!!, this was apparently a cue for everyone behind me to swarm around and start pulling the field. Hmmm. Fast forward a half a lap, I'm maybe 5th wheel or so with a different break of 3 riders about 10 seconds ahead. No MRC riders in the break, nobody wanted to pull on the front, and the 3 guys in the break looked fairly strong, so this is not good.... Should I pull through and try to nail them back? Nah. I just sat in my 5th wheel position and for the heck of it yelled BLOCKING!!! and sure enough a swarm of guys came to the front and started hammering. :) but I digress.....)

All the action took place on the last lap. We were neutralized at the start of the last lap as an ambulance with full sirens came up our rear, we all pull over to basically 2-3 bikes wide on the shoulder to allow the ambulance to pass. Some jabrony from Green Line Velo decides this is an appropriate place to attack, and proceeds to get 20 seconds or so. Smooth move :roll: He's strong enough to hold it for 2 miles while no one is willing to pull through. Then Doug decided that enough is enough, hammered to the front and then nailed it for several minutes. This did 2 things -- it closed down most of the gap but it also acted as a kick in the pants to everyone and the race really started to ratchet up. Of course, in the furiousness that followed I had my brush with disaster.... A touch of wheels right in front of me and 2 guys go down, I brake/swerve to the right, just clipping one of the downed bikes, which forces me to unclip with my left foot. I was nearly stopped but I tagged my left foot off a dude and it bounced my leg into my bike. What happened next is a first for me: my thigh muscle contacted my rear tire and got "sucked" in between my tire and my seat tube. It hurt like hell but more importantly it locked up my rear wheel and I skidded to a stop. This is not good. The next 2-3 minutes was an adrenaline fueled all out time trial to catch back up to the lead group. I knew if I didn't catch them by the final right hand turn then my day was over. I made a few sketchy passes to move through the pack and basically out-braked about 15 guys on the inside going into the right hander to get back into about 20th position. From there I caught a ride up into the top 10 behind a Blue Hills Racing guy moving up on my left side. Sweet. Shortly after, Jeremy came around my left and I settled in on the friendly wheel. Jeremy, being the King of Impatiency, basically wanted to gun it from right there, but we were still probably 1500m out. I yelled "WAIT!! WAIT!!" (and some guy on my wheel with a Scottish accent also yelled NOT YET!!!, or something to that effect). 15-20 seconds later we're on the downhill approach to the finish (prior to a 200 meter gradual uphill to the line), the swarm is starting to come so I yell GO! GO! to Jeremy and he totally nails it. We're flying down the hill and passing people, onto the flat passing people, and on to the gradual rise and passing people. I know that JC is dying a thousand deaths right about now, and just as the pace eases I see Len come up on my right, totally hammering out of the saddle. Looked like a pretty good wheel to jump on (duh!), so I did, and we hammered up the right side of the road right next to the gutter. We're in sight of the line, moving up with a full head of steam, passing guys who are gassed, into the top 5, and then BAM! some random dude inexplicably veers hard right, right across Len's front wheel. A split second later, Len is off the road, in the dirt with his front wheel just about tucked under. I was dead convinced he was about to low side back into the road right in front of me. A little touch of the brakes, Len stays upright, and then I resume the sprint. Lost a couple spots in the near-disaster but pass 2 or 3 in the last 50 meters. Very happy to be rubber side down and in with a 4th place finish.

Great results by Len and Smudger, but none of us would have had the results we did without 2 notable efforts: Doug killing it on the back stretch to bring it back together, and Jeremy's massive lead out down the hill and onto the finishing rise. Super teamwork and an extremely enjoyable day.

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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by JeremyC » Sat May 14, 2011 10:20 pm

Awesome race guys. Although none of the breaks actually worked, we executed our plan and had very good results. I was off the front on 3 different occasions with Scott, Doug and Len. We were the most aggressive team and still had juice left for the sprint. Good times.

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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by Smudger » Sun May 15, 2011 2:02 am

I lurked in the front half of the pack for the 1st 4 laps. It was pretty obvious nothing was getting away so I was happy to sit in and stay close enough to move up if I needed to. I consciously moved up into the front 10 wheels at the start of the final lap. The Greenline Velo move on the last lap was really bad patter. Not only did he move off the front when everyone else was soft pedaling to let the ambulance pass he drafted the ambulance to get his gap. I had some words with one of his team mates and conveyed my dissatisfaction with his move (maybe I wasn't that polite!). Anyway the cycling gods dealt with it in their own way as it was the Greenline Guy I spoke to that went down in the touch of wheels that caused Chris to find out how it feels to be a brake block. When this happened I thought the12 or so of us that were in front of the crash could get a gap so started to motivate everyone to pull through but only Doug picked up the challenge. Didn't realise that Chris was caught up in it. He did really well to get back in the mix after that. Heading to the downhill there was a group of 5 just off the front but easily within reach. As we passed some back markers from the 5s it came together as Jeremy pulls through. I shout it's too early as Chris jumps on his wheel and we are lined up. He sits up a little then nails it. On the steepest part of the descent an ECV guys goes flying over the bars into the bushes. Another ECV guy goes for it as we hit the little rise before the finish straight. He has a little gap but I know my jump will get him. I hold until my mark (telegraph pole) then go. I go left, straight for the line, don't even bother about the ECV wheel, I'm clear, in full sprint to the line, I think I've got it, and then just as I get to the line a Cycleloft guy pulls out of my draft and passes me on the line. 2nd. Not sure I could have done anything different . Wanted the win for the fantastic teamwork but still very happy with 2nd.

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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by swawersik » Sun May 15, 2011 8:23 am

Smudger wrote: Anyway the cycling gods dealt with it in their own way as it was the Greenline Guy I spoke to that went down in the touch of wheels that caused Chris to find out how it feels to be a brake block.
Didn't realize it was a GLV that caused the crash. All the more frustrating: I had to stop behind the crash, then again as another GLV guy got tangled with someone else while getting going again. Tried to work back on with 4 other guys, but the GLV and an unattached rider weren't really pulling through, so it was mostly me and Doug Aspinall. Then, at the end, still just off the back, GLV and unattached jump us at the sprint (to take 37th and 38th, I hope they're proud).

I feel like some old grumpy geezer: "Hey you kids, get off my lawn!" I just need to get through a race without at mishap and I'll perk up.

Super work by MRC - I think I saw everyone contribute, and Doug and Jeremy were huge

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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by rusto » Sun May 15, 2011 8:37 am

pace21 wrote:Jeremy, being the King of Impatiency
I thought that crown my MINE. ;)
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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by jraguin » Sun May 15, 2011 8:52 am

Wow... phenomenal job guys. I didn't get quite the sense of domination from our post-race conversation until looking at the results. This is where I really wish someone videotaped the race from the lead car. MRC owned the race. And back to the money aspect, please all do your best Dr. Evil impersonation at home! Can't wait to race with you guys, although I think it won't be long before a few of you upgrade!

By the way, did you hear the entire 2/3 field got DQ'd for yellow lane rule violations? I wonder what that story is.

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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by steen » Sun May 15, 2011 10:00 am

This might help explain the DQ, plus it's a stellar report. However that's par for the course for Ryan his reports usually are spot on.

http://exit17.net/wp/2011/05/no-rules/#more-2011
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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by scott_sweeney » Sun May 15, 2011 10:51 am

Love racing with you guys. Sorry about the flat with 1.5 to go...legs were feeling great and I was hoping to help chase any late breaks down but sounds like OGD Voigt'd that GLV down to bring it back just fine.

Let's keep this train a'rollin!! On to Sunapee!
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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by Bruce » Sun May 15, 2011 11:01 am

Smudger, kudos for marking out a jump line. How did you determine the particular spot?

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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by Len_E » Sun May 15, 2011 11:11 pm

Lots of fun racing with a team. I've never had so many teammates in a race and it was very comforting to see Black n' blue throughout the peleton. Doug, Stefan, and Jeremy were mixing it up in the front throughout the race and as you read earlier Doug took over the pace-making in the last lap that set the pace for the final sprint.
That said, the 4s are a scary crowd. Nervous, inexperienced or just plain bad riders were in abundance and although there were a couple of serious crashes, there could have been a lot more. The pace was very sketchy, even on the last lap with the lead group slowing to 16 mph in places and no one making any serious moves until Doug took over. I was happy to get to the finish with the rubber still down. And there was a serious question about that with about 30 meters to go when I was sideswiped by some guy who simply steered into my line. Luckily Chris, who was on my wheel, had the presence of mind to touch the brakes enough to avoid my apparent, impending crash, steer clear of the offender and stay in the hunt.
The teamwork was great and a really good feeling to have a group in the pack. It was great to lean over to Jeremy and Doug, ask them how they were feeling and whether they wanted to have a go at getting a gap and going for it.
While the 4s increase the likelihood of eating pavement I'm looking at Purgatory 35+ 4s instead of the masters 45s. The climby climbs will probably string the pack out, the distance will force gaps and I think we have a damn good climbing group that can create misery for others.
Great job everyone.
-L

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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by swawersik » Mon May 16, 2011 9:24 am

Len_E wrote: That said, the 4s are a scary crowd.
Len- That was easily one of the squirrelliest races I've ever ridden in. I think the quality (or lack thereof) of the roads led to lots of dumb line changes and nervous riding. I heard that the 2/3 race was also pretty sketchy.

I won't say the 4s are anything close to as smooth as the masters, but it's usually not THAT bad.

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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by Len_E » Mon May 16, 2011 10:58 am

Stefan,
I think you're probably right. The narrow roads, oncoming traffic, medieval road conditions all contribute to heightened nervousness. We as a team had the right idea in staying toward the front to drive the pace and avoid complications. You and Rob and to a lesser degree Jeremy got caught behind the kind of crashes that can happen anywhere. It was just bad luck, especially given how hard you worked when you were on the front. Nowhere is safe in a race like this but it's clearly better to be on the point of the spear rather than in the elbow-to-elbow pack and without control of your destiny. With the number and quality of riders we have in these races we should develop plans to control the race, especially under circumstances similar to this weekend.

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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by swawersik » Mon May 16, 2011 11:55 am

Len_E wrote:It was just bad luck, especially given how hard you worked when you were on the front.
In my case, I didn't do enough work on the front late in the race - that'll teach me to shirk my duties ;)

Mostly, I just didn't want you to abandon racing with us on the basis of that one race. It's nice having yet another strongman to work for.

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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by RFollansbee » Tue May 17, 2011 7:50 am

I think Len knows he can WIN the Cat 4 35+ at Purgatory after last year's Master's race...and we'll have enough guys to help deliver him.

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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by vbrown » Tue May 17, 2011 11:02 am


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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by rusto » Tue May 17, 2011 12:53 pm

vbrown wrote:Check out the CAT 3 race results :shock:

http://www.bikereg.com/Results/2011/05/ ... morial.asp
That oughta learn 'em!
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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by rusto » Tue May 17, 2011 12:54 pm

What kind of victory salute is this? Smell my armpit?

Image
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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by rusto » Tue May 17, 2011 1:02 pm

Seen on twitter just now regarding the total field DQ:
Screen shot 2011-05-17 at 1.02.00 PM.png
Screen shot 2011-05-17 at 1.02.00 PM.png (24.35 KiB) Viewed 12899 times
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Re: Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race

Post by taudep » Tue May 17, 2011 3:10 pm

Was hard not to break the centerline rule in that race. I know several riders in the 4 race kept getting yelled at by officials. It was especially hard to follow when there wasn't a yellow line a lot of the time on the narrow roads, AND the peloton would slow down so much that you just wanted to jump halfway up it in 2 seconds by going a little to the right...

Good racing, though.

I didn't think the roads were that bad. I though Blue hills had bigger, more treacherous potholes. I think the judicious use of orange paint scared a lot of people.

I'me going over to some MTBing for awhile. Might see everyone at Purgatory, or anything Crit-ish before then...
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