Sunday, September 13, 2009
Race Report - St. Augustine
This weekend we headed way north for some criterium racing in St. Augustine while keeping one eye on the weather report. We locate the venue fairly easily courtesy of google maps to find a surprisingly technical course. On the map you see a fat sausage shaped course but in person you see at 1k loop laid out in a parking lot with a couple of twisty turns.
Both of the 45+ and 35+ fields were around 35 racers with some women in each. Zmotion had five in 35+ and four in 45+.
The 45+ field started with cloudy but dry skies but that didn't last too long. There were several attacks each with a Zmotion racer, but nothing was sticking and then the heavens opened and it poured. The field slowed some but soon the deep puddles became a factor as taking a wrong line could put you through 3 to 4 inches of water and slow you down a couple of mph. It came down to a field sprint and the wet roads made it tricky but Peter and Aiton were duking it out for the win which Peter snagged with Raife being the top finisher for Zmotion with seventh.
In the Master's 35+, an attack from the first lap by Jody from Zmotion followed by a rider from ORC established an immediate gap. The ORC rider got shelled, but Pedro Medina launched a flyer from the field to eventually bridge up and join Jody. Zmotion took up constant blocking duty headed by Amir and Chris which to allowed Jody a maximum of 24 seconds on the field. Ryan Saylor attempted a solo bridge and was away for several laps but couldn't get out of no man's land in the middle. Early attacks rarely succeed in these type of races, but the with Jody dragging his breakaway companion through the turns so smoothly along with the blocking saw them staying away. They even picked up a lapped rider for the last few laps. After Jody did more than 80% of the work in the break, Pedro sprinted for the gold with Jody in the bronze. Back in the field, Dennis Sutherland attacked the field in the last lap to stay away for third. Zmotion still packed it in with 7th through 9th by Chris, Jeff and Amir respectively.
So this weekends format is an Omnium with a Criterium, Time Trial and Road Race. Thus the results of all three races are totalled and there is also an overall top 3 for the Omnium with trophies in this case. There are typically two ways to get results, time or points and each has it's advantages / disadvantages. In a points each place gets a certain amount of points regardless of time so it tends to limit the damage due to a breakaway. In a total time scenario, a field sprint in a criterium basically puts all of the focus on the time trial.
St. Augustine used the points format and scheduled the time trial early Sunday which was a variation from the typical Saturday PM TT.
So we awoke early Sunday to more rain and darkness and with a 7:45am rollout there were a lot of people who didn't get a stellar warm-up. The course was a flat out and back and was originally billed as a 6 mile course, but it ended up being only 4.4 miles.
The Master's 45+ started before the 35+ and each racer was started at 30 second intervals. Raife rode an awesome TT and came in second by just one second to a Triathlete that came just for this one race. This then put Raife into contention for the overall with a second after the tied pair Ken Schofield and John Faulk with Pablo Santa Cruz in third.
In the 35+ TT, our man Chris Hoch in only his third ever TT won the race launching him into overall contention. We also had the always amazing Jeff in third just after Ryan Saylor with Jody coming in sixth. So entering the Road Race we had Jody in 2nd, Chris 3rd and Jeff in 6th in overall contention.
The road race combined both Master's 35+ and 45+ into a 58 man field. The course itself was a 13 mile flat loop which we did 3 times. The attacks started early with Zmotion always represented. None of the attacks stayed away for more than a few minutes due to very attentive field. The finish which was on a very long straight away, came down to a field sprint with both categories totally mixed together with Carlos Soler taking the overall in his first win of the year. Hats off to him as a 48 year old racing 35+ with gusto and coming in 2nd in the overall.
Pablo Santa Cruz crossed the line second to win the 45+ category and 2nd in overall. Chris Hoch came in third to take second in 35+ and win the overall Omnium! Jeff came came in fourth in 35+ to take third in the overall. Raife came in 4th in the 45+ to take the Omnium overall. Basically there were so many Zmotion guys on the podiums that i was getting confused which was which award. Yes we ROCK!