Superior Morgul Bismark: Cat 4 Race Reports!
The weekend started off well, I won the TT.
This was somewhat of a disaster.
The plan was to ensure breaks did not get away, and then let Todd rip it up early on the final climb, at which point people would chase and Travis would lead me out for the finish.
It started out well – Travis and Tyler led me out for the first lap prime, which I managed to get 3rd place on. That effort left Travis beat and so he stepped out the race. I didn’t know this happened until the last lap. For laps 2 and 3 there were some attempted breaks. I wanted to be at the front of the race but from the first lap onwards, I hardly saw any Primal guys, so I stayed at the front reacting to any attacks – if the break stuck, I would be in it, and if it didn’t, then the plan could go ahead. Dan Mattox helped me chase down an attack on the final lap. All this chasing is hard work… and on the final climb when Todd attacked, I tried to follow. Unfortunately I couldn’t hold the wheel over the top, and Todd dragged the main GC contenders away from me. I looked back and saw I had a few seconds on the main pack so I tried my best to hold it off for the whole of the finish straight. This didn’t work and everyone came sprinting past with about 150m to go. I have no idea where I finished, but it wasn’t good.
I wanted this to be a hard race as I typically do much better from smaller groups, so I put in a dig on the wall on each of the first three laps. On the second lap I put a big 10 minute effort in, starting at the wall and over the top. It was the closest we got to establishing a break / splitting up the group. The only others helping me out on going hard up the wall were some tiny juniors who flopped on the flat after the wall, but kudos to them for trying. The filed was simply too large, so guys that would be 10-15 seconds slower on the climb could still hold on.
On the final climb, I didn’t have good legs for the sprint after burning out on the second lap. I finished 9th with Todd coming in 10th.
I finished 4th overall, a single point away from a podium. Todd finished 6th overall.
I had a clean sweep at the MM 5’s. There has been decent sized fields in the past, but for some reason there were small fields for the TT and Circuit. After winning the TT, I decided to make it known that I was making a move. Troy helped out by hammering a decent with me on his wheel allowing me to launch at the pitch upward. One guy was still on my wheel, so I paced it a little and then launched another attack to drop the field for good, allowing me to ride off with an almost 4 minute gap to victory.
The good news is that more people showed up for the RR, and I immediately recognized the guys who had the power. With that in mind, I made my first attack right away on the wall as soon as it hit the steep part. This set up a 3 man breakaway with the Bruce from Wish for Wheels and Tyler from Old School. We eventually had someone from Boulder Cycle Sport bridge up on Marshall, but we decided to turn it up and drop him while he was tired.
From there the 3 of us took our turns setting a decent pace, and I immediately knew I wasn’t planning on waiting until the end. On the final hump from the 3rd position I decided to make my move. When Bruce came off his pull to the left I attacked around the right side of Tyler. The move worked as I knew I could sustain a steady pace from there and was able to take the RR by 15 seconds.
It was a tough weekend for me. I was dropped from the lead group in the Cat 5 race on both Saturday and Sunday. My legs felt like garbage, for lack of a better word, and I was probably overdue for a recovery week (which I’m taking now). Luckily, I was able to salvage top-10 finishes on both days, enough for me to upgrade to Cat 4!
Big shout out to Michael Murphy, who had three second-place finishes on the weekend (the Circuit Race, Road Race, and the Omnium) while I was suffering just to hang with the pack. “The Count” (as I will hereby refer to Murph) used a combination of brute power and tactical poise to out-climb a field composed mostly of gangly pre-pubescents and overcome the aerodynamic disadvantage of his clearly post-pubescent leg hair. On the final day of racing, the Count was able to bury his main Omnium rival on the final climb to clinch second overall. I was a mile back on McCaslin when this played out, but I could feel the pavement rippling beneath my tires when the Count stood out of his saddle to unleash hell through the pedals.
I look forward to racing as with the Cat 4 squad soon! If the Koppenberg is too muddy for road bikes, I’ll look forward to racing the City Park Crit and Deer Trail the following weekend.