PS--attacking is meant to hurt
By Jonathan Dugas | Apr 7, 2008
Race name: Burnham Super Crit - Men's 4/5
Race date: Monday, Apr 7, 2008
What a pleasure to race on a proper course such as the speedway, and a pity we do not have more facilities like that closer to home. It was worth the drive out to South Beloit, though, also due to solid organization. Note to Sherman Park committee: biggest hit of the day was the Park bike scale! Guys were raving about how cool this was.
The Men's 4/5 race was dodgy by anyone's standards. Somehow no one could get those turns right on the back side of the course. Admittedly the wind wreaked havoc, but regardless there was plenty of questionable riding.
After only one or two laps Calvin found himself off the front down the finishing straight. He surprised himself as it was not a legitimate attack, but rather just an effort to keep the pace high as he was at the front. Two other riders took it as a move, though, and bridged the gap. I saw the potential for a four-man break which, given the wind, was probably the minimum requirement for a long breakaway.
I bridged in no time and gave an emphatic "Let's go!" to the others. Funny thing happened on the way to a win, though. . .the other two riders just rode as if they were on a group ride. There was absolutely no urgency in their demeanor.
This was either because they did not want to be in the break---but then why did they bridge the gap---or because they did not realize that when you attack, it's game on! And one must ride, and work together, to preserve the break's lead over the bunch. Failure to pick up your tempo will result only in being caught by the bunch.
Pity as that could have been a great move with Calvin and I off the front with about 10 teammates in the bunch to block. As it turned out everything came back together and no one was making any more moves whatsoever. With 10+ teammates sitting in the bunch and ready to block, I reckoned my chances were good to try something.
I pegged the straight section after turn six as the place to make a move as it would provide a long stretch without a head wind to open a gap before hitting the wind after turn one.
As we approached three laps to go, off I went. Everyone in the bunch did their bit, and thanks a million for that guys! I stayed away for just over two full laps. When the catch was imminent, Mike Seguin used his new found racing savvy and launched an excellently-timed counter attack (there is a reason he was the GOTM for April!). Unfortunately he now had the pack revving it up for the last lap and was caught, although he hung on for a respectable 23rd place.
I stayed near the front on the last lap, but after a two-lap solo effort it was all I could do just to stay there. Once the sprinting opened up I could not hold it but hung on for the top twenty I think (not sure as they have me as a DNF right now, though!).
It was great fun to race in "normal" weather (read, "no snow") and thanks for all the guys who came out. Can't wait for the next race with everyone!