First off, we all owe a big debt of thanks to the many volunteers
who helped out with this week’s Twilight Race.
Jenny Frayer setting up the course and giving out primes – a great job of
marking all the right spots and working around some cars that made
their way on to the course. Thanks again
Morgan Carr, Catherine Sullivan, Kathy Zodiac for helping with
registration and running the race
Tony Parenti and Richard Bulis for running the A event (and allowing
me to race!)
and all the many folks who helped with scoring, course break-down
(thanks a lot Chris Fields!), and overall cheering. You guys were
great and thanks very much!
seems as though we’re getting more and more spectators and folks
willing to lend a hand with the races…that’s just wonderful. You all
really do make the events that much better. Please keep coming and
we’ll start to have more beverages and food for you to snack on
during the races.
so Tuesday night’s racing. Let’s just say…”whoa.” The C group was
larger than the first week and I was a bit nervous as to how the
riders would react. The course was shorter at only ¾ of a mile
loop…but more difficult because there was absolutely NO place to
rest on this course. I’ll say it again, if you can ride this course
– you can ride any criterium course in the country. Not only was the
course challenging physically and technically, forcing riders to
focus 100% of their attention for the entire distance of the race,
but every race was animated and exciting. Every rider, every single
rider who participated in these races can be proud of their
efforts…it was brutal!
The C field split for good about 20 minutes in to the race. 7
riders were off the front, with a very strong and determined group
chasing. With about 5 laps to go, new road rider Mark Trujillo would
get away for a prime and be urged by the crowd to try and stick it
for a solo win. He would pound out lap after lap and eventually
build an insurmountable lead, winning by a comfortable margin. The
group behind, now at 6, would be led in by Mark Lattin of UNR. Alta
Alpina’s Mike Henry would save 3rd place by fending off
the fast improving junior rider, Charlie Apple. Also notable was
the strong performance put in by another junior rider, Nate Sowle –
fresh off his domination of the Nor-Nevada High School Championship
Series. Nate will be riding to win the State Championships this
Saturday at the Peavine Challenge…should be a great event. Leading
in the 2nd chase group and for 8th place was
Bullissimo, roaring off the wheel of Rick Hathaway on the finishing
stretch. Hathaway would have yet another powerful ride, never afraid
to stick his nose out in the wind and work hard. Rick would finish
just ahead of a hard charging Chris Fields to round out the top-10.
And one last note about the rider Kathy Casey, appearing to ride out
of her frickin’ gourd Tuesday night. Definitely the most improved
rider out there from the last week – fantastic effort.
The B event was just nuts. The first lap saw Chris Payne doing
everything he could to blow apart the field. As the riders came
through after their first lap (we’re talking .73 miles, here), the
time gap between the first and last rider was over 20 seconds!
Barreling through the finishing stretch, the field was one, long,
snaking, quarter mile line. It was so cool. After about 3 laps of
that carnage, only 13 or 14 riders remained in the lead group. The
rest of the field were in small chasing groups, driving hard to keep
within range. Another woman rider, Jessica Runyon would fight hard
to stay in the top end of the race. A quick tutorial from Paige
Galeoto before the race looked to work wonders, because Jessica’s
lines were spot-on (even if we’d have liked her to keep in the draft
a bit more!). In the end, Jessica would place a very strong 16th in
a ridiculously difficult B race.
Jason Walker would be the main hammer of the B field after the first
6 laps. Notching up sprint bonus after bonus, Jason would launch an
extremely well timed attack with 14 minutes remaining in the
race…digging deep to cross the line solo in victory. On the last
lap, Steve Kaufman would show his legs have more than just 15
seconds of mach 5 sprint in them – attacking through the chicanes
and opening up the big motor to power away from the field for a
convincing 2nd. Shawn Stratton would throw his bike for 3rd
in front of Dave Reeves, with Paul Day finishing out the top-5.
Notables were Gabe Burke picking himself up from the pavement after
sliding out in a corner to chase the pack solo for over 20 minutes
(ouch), as well as Mark Henry’s solo effort for the ENTIRE race as
he would chase the lead group at 5 seconds…that was painful to
The A field was significantly smaller than last week’s Sparks
Criterium. I think there were a bunch of guys who just plain didn’t
want to suffer out there again. And that’s what this race course is
all about…suffering. You have to be ready and willing to endure lots
of pain to ride this course.
Warehouse riders, Wayne Mackey and Michael Cupitt joined me (Michael
Hernandez) in a long break-away effort. We were very committed to
the break, each rider pulling hard and conscientious of each other
in the corners. It took me about 15 minutes just to start taking the
right lines through the corners…with no warm-up for the event and
not having raced it last week, I was blowing more than a few
corners. But we were taking them fast, evidenced by Wayne’s
acrobatics - saving a pedal scrape by hopping his rear wheel about a
foot in the air from one side of the tarmac up on to a planter. It
was impressive. His tire wouldn’t be able to handle the gymnastics
and would flat a few seconds later…but a new wheel supplied by a
spectator would see Wayne in on the next lap. In the end, we would
pull away from the field with a comfortable gap and sprint it out
for the win. I would get in front of a very strong Michael Cupitt
with Wayne taking the bronze.
Bringing in what remained of the field would be Tom Skiles, showing
a fantastic burst of leg speed to finish ahead of Dustin Sweet.
Great racing everyone!
you at Boca next week.