Much to my delight, the Juniors 10-14 race was made up of a very strong ten man field!!! Some of the big names were Rudy Peterson, Joe Toma, and Vince Pugliese. The Maple Leaf Cycling Club had one of the bigger teams in the race, with Joe, Vince, and Joey Fornatran. Although they were big, the Maple Leaf Cycling Club didn't get the showing that AAVC got! We had Abby, James M., Rem, Alexey and I. The plan for the race was that I would attack and soften the group up while Alexey sat back and waited for the sprint. Once we saw Joe, we realized that we would have to relay attack. The race started slow, with everyone looking at each other. Vince looked at me, as if to say "Well?". Then I attacked hard through the first corner. The race had started! Rudy was racing really smart. He was definitely marking me, so I never really got any good gaps on him. Joe was sitting at the back, conserving himself. I attacked several times on the first lap, and managed to thin the pack down to six riders: Rudy, Joe, Vince, Rem, Alexey, and I. It was a very strong group.
Several more laps passed with me relentlessly pounding the pack...and getting caught. Alexey threw in a few attacks as well, although he was still the designated sprinter.
With eight minutes elapsed, the pack was trying to catch a breather. Alexey was at the front, with me right behind him. I coasted for a while. Alexey's gap grew. He had a few bike lengths on the pack. He looked back, saying to the pack, "Come on!". It was then that an idea formed in my head. "Go Alexey!" I yelled. Alexey quickly snapped into action, accelerating down the road, with an already big gap. Rudy sprinted after him, but Joe yelled "Let him go," obviously not concerned with Alexey. I think he was more afraid of me, since I beat him at Ciocario. I don't think Joe realized how strong Alexey is. He does now.
Alexey and Rudy got a good gap, while I stayed back with Joe and Vince. Joe seemed unmotived to chase, and I often found myself leading the group. Of course, when I was leading the group, I was slowing the pace down so Alexey could get away with Rudy.A few minutes later, I was getting restless. I needed to drop Vince and Joe, or at least isolate Joe from Vince. I needed to bridge up to Alexey and Rudy. So I attacked! I dropped Vince immediately, and carried a good gap on Joe for two or three laps. After Joe caught me, I tried attacking a few more times, but I couldn't get any good gaps on him. Then he absolutely glued himself to my wheel. I couldn't shake him off. I didn't want to slow down, fearing that Vince would catch up, so I had to attack Joe. I attacked 2-3 times per lap, but was able to recover. I was realizing that I was capable of beating Joe, but I couldn't let him suck my wheel.As Joe and I were duking it out, Alexey and Rudy were working together brilliantly.They weren't fooling around, forming an alliance with each other until the last lap.
As they were finishing, Joe and I were still on the back stretch of the course. I could hear Mr. Lekovish doing his play-by-play of the sprint finish. I heard him say,"...and Alexey Vermeulen takes it on the line!" I gave a "Yeah!" and attacked Joe. It was clear that I was just giving Joe a lead out. I decided that I would try to gap Joe on the last corner and hold my advantage to the finish. I got my gap, but started my sprint too early. Joe came around me and took third place.
Missing the podium was disappointing but it didn't matter, because I had done my job. I had gotten AAVC the victory; I had gotten my buddy the win. Riding on a team means that you race differently than you would race as an individual. Sacrifices need to be made, but in the end, they're worth it. I certainly felt rewarded to see Alexey standing on the highest step on the podium.
other stuff: here's the photo finish. Rudy came very close, but he threw his bike too late, after they had crossed the finishing line.Kyle came to the race! He hopes to get into racing(sorry if I'm putting words in you mouth Kyle:-)!My dad WON the Masters 45+ race! He got himself into a four man breakaway and lapped the peleton! He outsprinted his breakaway compatriots. He also helped lead out Eric to a 5th place finish in the Cat 3 race.
My mom had a bake sale.
I helped out with the kids race.
There was a big crash in the Cat 3 race, involving Lupe Martinez and Doug Hedges.
Zack Mcbride had an awesome solo breakaway in the Pro 1/2 race.
Christy Keely won the Womens' 1/2/3 race.
The Tour de Kids is tomorrow, and I'll be helping out.