May 4, 2010

Race At The Lake #3

From Saturday May 1, 2010

The Race at the Lake spring series has been a fixture in Northern Ohio for as long as I’ve been racing. It’s a perfect course to test your legs, a closed course of 1.2 miles with an uphill sprint finish, a few tight corners and plenty places to launch attacks. Not quite a crit, not quite a road race and no cars to get in the way. We had a team of five at the race, myself, Kirk and Moskal from the elite team and Brent and Erik from the regional team. Our plan was to try to get numbers in a break and only fall back on a field sprint as plan B.

The race took off quickly and Brent found his way into a break which included local strongman Jeremy Grimm. Kirk bridged up to the break, and soon another group of 7 trickled away with Moskal, leaving a lead group of almost fifteen riders. It looked like a good group for us, with three Panther riders up front. However, no one wanted to drive the break and with 9 laps to go the field regrouped. Kirk, Andy and I each launched attacks but none of our moves gave us a combination we were comfortable with. With two to go, a sprint was looking likely and we start to line up behind Kirk, myself, then Andy and Brent. Kirk gave it full gas from about 800 meters out, railing through the last turn before the uphill sprint and giving me a clean shot out of the last right hand bend at 200 meters. I am not known for being a sprinter, but with a leadout like that I was able to hold it to the line, Moskal was 2nd and Dave Chernosky (CCF) edged out Brent for 3rd, keeping us from a sweep by the smallest of margins. Another great team effort, getting it dialed in for the heart of the season.

-Paul Martin