Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Belterra, Driveway, Walburg, and Pace Bend



Belterra

Belterra was a fun race outside of Austin, and was another great event put on by Holland Racing and Andrew Willis. The course was about 3 km long with two small kickers that had U-turns at the top, one about halfway through the course and the other at the finish. I stayed calm for the first half of the race, but when there was a strong move with all the major teams represented I knew I had to be there. I made a solo bridge with about 40 minutes left in the race up to the now 6 man break. The 6 of us worked hard and held off the Team Hotel San Jose driven peleton to contest the win. I tried a late move with about a kilometer and a half and got a small gap but nothing more. I was caught a little after the turn with about 300 meters to go, and sat up to watch David Wenger of Super Squadra take the win over Andrew Dalheim of Metro Volkswagon.


Driveway

This was my first race out at the Driveway course, and I have to admit it was a great expreience! Once again I chilled for the first 45 minutes of the race. Right at the halfway mark I put in a hard attack and got a decent sized gap solo. I held onto this lead for about half a lap until the extremely fast backside of the course where junior gears could only help so much. Once I was caught I just went back to sitting in the pack and waited for the finish. Going into the last lap everyone was fighting for a spot at the front. Fortunately, P. J. Rabice helped bring me up to the front to a great position onto Squadra's Alan Ting. After an extremely hectic finale I ended up taking 5th on the day with THSJ's Josh Carter taking the win over Alan, with THSJ's Will Ross taking third.



Walburg

What a great way to spend the first half of my birthday! Walburg has been known for as one of the worst weather a race could possibly have, but this year it didn't really hold up to its expectations. It was pissing rain the entire race, but the freezing temperatures weren't there along with the huge winds. The winds are usually what shatters the race into little pieces, but at this year's edition the racing didn't really happen until halfway through the last lap. An early move went off, but was brought back and after the racing was nice and steady. With about half a lap to go a flurry of attacks went off. I tried getting away a few times, but nothing would stick. Finally with about 10 miles to go I settled in in the pack, and THSJ sent their entire team up to the front and started driving the pace. This was during the cross wind section and after a few miles the pack had blown up. There were only about 15-20 of us left in the front group with about 10 of those guys being a member of THSJ. I just sat at the back of the group waiting for the sprint. San Jose once again led out their super sprinter, Josh Carter, and he rocketed away from everyone with about 200 meters to go to take the win with a huge margin. I started the sprint pretty far back, but was able to come around everyone else to take 2nd place over Russ Walker.



Pace Bend

Pace Bend has always been an extremely hard race in the past and this year definitely did not disappoint. I started the race pretty aggressively and after about three of the 13 six mile laps I found myself in a strong break of about 15 people. All of the teams were in the move with a good majority of the strongest riders in Texas. We quickly got a big gap on the field, but the break wasn't working very well together and we were caught about half a lap later. I then just sat in at the back of the group until about 2 and a half laps to go. I got into another break with a bunch of other strong riders. After some confusion I found myself off the front with Matrix/RBM's Pat McCarty and THSJ's Stefan Rothe. The three of us stayed off for about half a lap until a few other riders bridged up to us. Going into one lap to go there was a group of about 10 off the front with THSJ well represented with four of them including Carter. They kept the pace up in the break, but we were caught about a half a lap later. I then put in another attack with McCarty which formed another break with a few of the same people. That group ended up holding off the field and contested for the win. Carter once again sprinted away from everyone to take his second win of the weekend over Matrix/RBM's and current P12 State Champion JT Cody. I once again started the sprint a little too far back, but wasn't able to make up as many places and ended the day in 7th.




These are two of my really good friends, Tracy on the left and Courtney on the right. They woke up early Sunday morning and drove over three hours to come watch my race after being at a dance competition all the day on Saturday which they won! Thanks a lot for coming!