Keith “the Cooler” Covington follows the next week with ANOTHER WIN on 4/27!
Art Exum gets the A-Race Beer Prime – Brooklyn Lager
The big news today is that Mike Reade takes 1st Place in the Masters 50+ category! (full results)
The annual Matrix Challenge is held on the campus of The Meadows Foundation in the beautiful Wilson Historic District located in downtown Dallas, Texas.
Robb Bush won 1st Place in the Stage 1 Road Race in the Masters 40+ Category at the Fayetteville Stage Race, and followed it up with a 2nd Place in the Stage 3 Road Race.
The legendary Fayetteville Stage Race is a production of the Southwest Cycling Club (SWCC) and is considered to be the most prestigious Stage Race in Texas.
The Driveway Series in Austin opened tonight and the place was packed! Great show as always by Holland Racing and all the sponsors. Some great pics from DCM Photography as usual as well. I did not make it into the top results, but just sitting in on the way to Fayetteville.
Can’t wait to go back to the Driveway!
P1/2 Race Beer Prime
Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA
3/4 Race Beer Prime
Victory Hop Devil
The team had 3 riders in the Masters 40+ race.
And Michael T was the lone racer in the Cat 4/5 race.
RESULTS Masters 40+
Mike: 12th (4th in 50+ scoring)
RESULTS Cat 4/5
Cold (but above freezing). Windy (mostly from one direction).
BUT… Sunny and Dry!
You can’t have it all on a typical December 5th in North Texas, but it was great conditions for The Racing Post’s Winter Criterium today! We can ride fast, in a pack, non-stop, and (best-of-all) without cars. And yes there are “officials” there to make sure it goes down with the pre-race monologues and wise cracks. *whistle* They keep track of whats going on. Guarding the corners. Walking the track. Counting the laps. Enforcing “the rules”. Keeping racers informed. Counting the laps down some more. And keeping track of who wins the golden spoke!
All Results posted HERE:
Deschutes Jubelale (Bend, OR)
Harpoon Winter Warmer (Boston, MA)
Wow. What a great day to get out and do a safe, fast race with your friends.
This is was the first episode of The Racing Post‘s initiative to keep the “Eggnog and Chunks” winter criterium series tradition alive – and it was great!
For the P123 crowd – It was the usual suspects that would typically be racing each other around on the roads of Denton Co. on a Sunday morning – but safer-AND-faster, with a start line, finish-line cam, and gen-u-ine USAC officials keeping track of stuff! Personally, I thought it was great to see the sizable 4/5 field. What a great place & conditions for new racers to to get off to a positive start. Good vibes.
3/4 Race Beer Prime: Pyramid Snow Cap Winter Warmer
4/5 Race Beer Prime: Breckenridge Avalanche Ale
The 2010 Tour of Austin consisted of 4 races, but I only entered the “eStigma” and “Pickle” Criteriums in the Cat2/3 races. There was no Masters race for Cat 1 or 2 racers (40+ 3/4 offering only).
To get a good result in a criterium – especially one with lots of narrow corners – you must be ready to do 2 things.
- Start with, and maintain a position near the front of the group
- Ride aggressively to defend your spot
What was I thinking? Sign up for USAC Masters Track National Championships?
Well – it was at the “local track”… the Superdrome in Frisco – so why not?!
Since the beginning of the year, “learning to ride on the Track” was a goal of mine. Back in April, I attended the required Development Class which exposes you to the basics of riding a fixed-gear bike, track “etiquette”, and helps the students get familiar with the general rules and the race formats. By the end of the class they have you doing some “mock races”.
Just taking the development class moves you from being a Cat5 to a Cat4. Now you are ready to race. I was able to get a used bike – a 2003 Cro-Mo Steel Bianchi Pista.
Then I started showing up from some of the regular Friday Night “Superdrome Points Series” and “Speed Races” events.
One of the most fun things for me was that it was “always new”. There were always new race formats to learn. Sometimes I would just sit in and watch. And sometimes – if I felt good – I would actually go for it. I did wind up winning quite a few 35+ Cat4 races. I eventually submitted my results and points for an upgrade to Cat 3.
To enter Masters Nationals events you must be at least a Cat 3.
I also upgraded my bike to a very-lightly-used Fuji Track Pro. It does make the beloved steel-gray Bianchi feel like a tank.
There were a lot of events to register for, but I chose to enter only the 25k Points Race, a mass-start event (instead of an individual TT races – which seem to require a tricked out bike and really good TT skills, discipline, and aerodynamics (which I have none of), or 1:1 Match Sprint which I really LIKE to do, but don’t have a lot of patience for all of the waiting around.)
When I got to the track on race day it was raining on-and-off, causing some delays – but it was also buzzing with a LOT of people that had traveled from all over the country!
I looked around and saw guys with State Champ jerseys, a few with World Champion stripes – which I assume were legit in this crowd. OMG, what have I gotten myself into?
After some rain delays – and plenty of chances for butterflies to develop – it looked like our race was coming up soon on Thursday PM.
Fortunately, I was able to watch the Masters 45-49 points race final happen while I was warming up on the trainer. It looked pretty fast and hairy with lots of jockeying-around and huge surges. More butterflies. I cranked up my headphones – and just focused.
Almost immediately after the race they called Masters 40-44 to the rail. I was expecting there to be some open riding time, but no… and had to rush around the track to take the last spot on the rail – which was fine with me.
The rest was an anaerobic, neuro-power blur in which I just raced instinctively. I was near the front as the first sprint approached after 10-laps – and I took 5th. That was the closest I would come to earning a point (Points go to 1-4th place every 10 laps = 5,3,2,1). Then 90 laps to go. It took everything I had to just stay in the main group, but I did and almost got into good position to sprint for more points – but I was concerned about finishing. There were several times when I thought I would implode – but I finished. I raced respectably, and finished in the main group. I was rewarded with a 15th place in the final results, out of 18. I was not last. I was extremely excited that I was just IN the race for the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.
Then the inevitable woulda-shoulda-couldas creep in. And, in in 20/20 hindsight – if you can get points – then you better get them! That’s where its obvious that I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING!
If I had gotten just that 1 point – my final position could have been in the top 10 – because I think that only the top 7-8 even had any points at all!
Oh well, I’ll keep learning new things at the track and will stay with it – and who knows, maybe I will go back to Masters Nationals again next year when I am 45.
One of my goals for the year was to get enough points to move to Category 2. I did get the points and requested the “upgrade” back in April.
Why upgrade? Although I typically race age-graded races (eg 40+), I wanted to be a Cat 2 so I could race in the P1/2 category in some of the bigger road-races… like the Hotter’n Hell 100.
With close to 120 starters, all the powerhouse regional teams represented, plenty of neutral-support vehicles from SRAM, etc. It was as close to the “pro experience” as you get around here.
As expected it was all-out from the gun… just as the sun was rising. Its a race to the first hot-spot at 10mi, but it still remained very fast all the way until around 35mi. Then there was a bit of a shut-down… But not for long. Then the attacks started, and I got into a few of them, but they were easily brought back by the big teams. At around 60-something miles a break of 5 or so just rolled off the front with each one of the powerhouse teams represented.
Then they all just shut the thing down pretty much – and there were a few other attempts to get off the front and bridge up, including myself – but again, nothing was going to go very far before being brought back by one of the big teams.
So it was going to be a pack finish for the rest. On the long drag back into town, all of a sudden we now had a crosswind from the left that had us single-file in the gutter on the right. I managed to tuck in and try to conserve for the final miles. As things really heated up with about 5 miles to go – everything bunched up in the front with a lot of movement to control it. In the other HH100 races I have done this is where things got very sketchy. I decided that I would go for it and just take advantage of whatever openings I could get while still staying out of the wind on the right. Just before the overpass I was right on the end of the main eschelon – and chased Chris Carlson as he darted right away from the pack to attack the overpass. I thought that was a brilliant move – and sure enough – there was some kind of crash for those that were hugging the inside.
At the top of the overpass, you pretty much “are where you are going to be” going back into town because its already going top speed, and there is no way to move up.
At the finish I thought I was maybe only 15-25 behind the winner of pack finish, Josh Carter – but it turned out to be 39th overall!
I was still pretty pumped about the race and how things went – probably the coolest race I have ever done. So I am again glad that I changed to a Cat 2!