From our onsite reporter Joe Vietro
Ok, round 3 of the FSC series was held in Alafia River State Park near Lakeland and it was by far the hardest, longest (30 miles for xc-1), and most technical race to date with lots of large roots, big drops and steep climbs. Steve LaRue took 1st place in the 40+ xc-1 class with a super strong showing for his 2nd win in three races putting him in 1st place overall! Nice job Steve keep it up!
Jimbo also took 1st place making it three in a row for him putting in 1st over all in his class also. Joe Vietro took 5th place in 30+ xc-1 class (Joe hit the dirt a few times, I think four, but who's counting). Joe is slowly move up the ranks in his class and now is in 2nd place overall. Stay tooned for next week race round 4 In Tallahassee.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
After a hard day of racing it was time for the celebration of the season’s efforts. Sponsored by ZMotion at The Appleton Museum of Art, it was a classy affair. There were security guards a plenty, but that still didn’t stop us for viewing some really neat art including some tricked out Chopper-style motorcycles. Dinner was provided between 7 and 8pm where there was a video playing with scenes from the years races and then awards were passed out from 8pm to around 9:30pm.
With over 400 trophies to pass out, Tim did a great job keeping the pace going. We even had two lovely podium girls to help pass out trophies. The venue itself was beautiful, set in the middle of an Art Museum, with a fountain in the middle. It was cool seeing all of these racers’s that you normally see in spandex all dressed up. The women especially clean up nicely.
Course even the women couldn't compete with Jeff's pimped out hat.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The State Championship Road Race weekend is the last state-wide race of the 2009 season. You find that some racers love Criteriums and some don’t but EVERYBODY loves a road race and we had the numbers to prove it. With over 120 riders in the Master’s 30-44 and over 100 in the Master’s 45+ races the racing was fast and furious.
The weekend is broken up into two days with the first day being Age Day and the second day being Category day. On a typical weekend, you can race either or both but not this weekend. The other interesting thing is that the age brackets are only 5 years apart, so 30-34 is scored separated that 35-39, etc..
The course itself was the same course as last year’s Category race day with a 5 mile loop that offered up a difficult power climb just after the start/finish line. The rest of the course was rollers with a crazy fast downhill finish. We had more record temperatures on Saturday with the highs in the low 90’s. The feed zone on the uphill offered welcome water from helpful teammates and it was needed.
Both Master’s races were 8 laps with the 30-44 starting first. With lap times of less than 15 minutes, the late start of the Master’s 45+, due to the difficulty in finding a driver for the wheel truck, had both groups on the course just a couple of minutes apart and their fates were inter-twined today. As the 30-44 group came down to the field sprint all together, a horrific crash happened that took out major sections of the peleton. It was one of the worse crashes I have seen as close to 10ambulances showed up on scene. But our man Vinny weaved his way through the carnage and snagged the State Championship Win. Congrats.
In an interview with Vinnny he was quoted as saying " The race was very hard and fast. I haven’t been on the bike in awhile but I still ended up pulling if off somehow, because I am a “Bad Ass”. Yup, I just want to prove everyone wrong about me because they are always talking crap about me by calling me “Fat Ass” and “Slow Ass”. I have still got it. But it was very hard and I ended up pulling it off. Was I lucky? Very! It was actually a fun, fun race and I enjoyed it.".
The Masters 45+ group ended up being stopped for around 30 minutes just sitting out on the course. Just prior to this a small group of five, including our own Steve Griffith, were off the front and they got a head start when the road was cleared of accident victims and managed to stay away for the rest of the race with Steve coming in 4th.