Wayne Elliot Memorial Race - 2/3 Report

Steve's

We had 7 laps, I think, which was fine because of only ~250ft. of climbing per lap. The pack got very big from day-of reg, so we toed the line with about 80 guys, maybe more. From the gun, it was very unstable, lots of braking, lots of bad bike handling and a crash on some of the worst roads we saw all day. All our guys managed to pick their way around that early crash and stay with the group. On the next lap we were neutral through the crash zone and the guys involved were conscious, alert and being attended to by EMS--good news.

Sam, Pete and I tried our best to stay in the front of the pack, but the field was so large that it made it extremely difficult to move up. Pete tried his hand at a few break chances and Sam had at least one good go and I tried to lead the pack as best I could. JJo, Mike (in his first 3 race, and he did awesome) and Kyle had been pushed a good distance back in the pack by the crash earlier, so they had quite a few riders between them and the front of the group, but were making efforts to move up during the semi-stable sections of the race (there were few, so you can imagine how that went)

Then comes the end of lap 4. While the majority of the peleton had been obeying the yellow line rule for the duration of the race, there were quite a few who treated the rule as more of a suggestion--overtaking in the left lane and generally disregarding the motos and follow car instructions . As we round the corner to begin lap 5 (3 to go) the race promoter and head official had had enough, so they stopped (as in dead stop) the entire pack at the finish in the course of about 50m. We were told that if officialsy saw any more yellow line tom-foolery, they would immediately disqualify the rider, then move on to disqualifying the entire peleton if the infractions didn't stop.

Great, now we're 1/2 bricked and riding on thin ice. 3 to go was a quick lap, to the point that I was afraid I might not have the gas to keep up over the last two laps. As we were part way through 2 to go, the wind inexplicably went out of the peleton's sails and we slowed to tempo pace. Sure there were fliers off the front, but with so little consistent effort from the pack, they were shut down in a mad dash at the front of the pack nearly every time. 1 to go and more of the same. The pack was playing accordion to the tune of Barnum and Bailey's Circus yet again. There were a couple guys off the front at one point, but the back side of the course was so fast they were just being hung out to dry. as the finish rolls nearer, nervous energy starts to creep in and the pace climbs steadily, along with the sketch level. Out of nowhere we're at the finish and I'm sprinting for 30somethingth. Well that sucked. Dumb and dangerous end to a poorly designed, poorly marshaled and poorly ridden race by the entire field.

After the race we all convened in the parking lot to go over the end of the show. Pete and Sam, who were in a better position in the pack can probably elaborate on the story a bit more, but the short version is: more yellow line attacking before the finish and disqualification of the entire pack after about 20 minutes of deliberation by the officials. We all made it through rubber side down, and Pete and Sam both laid down some great work at the front, however due to a variety of factors, this race ended up having little redeeming value overall. So little, in fact, that I'm truly looking forward to the relative stability and enjoyment of Wells Ave tomorrow morning.

The good: Pete is a monster, Sam is a monster, being the 'guys to watch' according to some pack banter, personally eating and drinking well the whole race.
The bad: Moving up sucks in a field like that, so I need to do a better job of being opportunistic, even if I use a little more gas than I had planned on.
The ugly: Know the course and really bury myself coming in to the finish; position is vital, and I can almost always hold speed for the last 200, but if I'm out of position it requires Herculean effort to make up for my error and my placing will most likely reflect it.

-Steve Lachance

Sam's:

I'll elaborate more on the final Lap. The goal for me today was to get Pete in the move. When he'd go, I'd get on the front and try and disrupt as much as I could. I tried to get other teams with numbers to do the same, but nobody really wanted to play. The "good" move Steve was referring to was when there was a break with CBB, Emrbocation, Nor-east, and two other dudes up the road. They were all well represented size-wise in the group, so I knew we couldn't let them get too much time. Evan Cooper took a flyer off the front and went with him for a bridge attempt. I knew that I'd either get in this sweet break, or I'd bring the whole pack with me for Pete... Either way I was doing WORK. (we brought the pack).We all talked, and if for some reason a 2/3 field was still together at the end of thisroad race, I'd try to do my thing. 

So... a for whatever reason, no one had made a break stick, and we are together on the last lap. Pete gets to the front and strings it out like a BOSS, keeping a small, unimportant break just off the front in check, while keeping the pace high enough so that it was difficult to move up. I was 20 something back. Cut to the downhill... I've moved up the road, I'm now sitting 8-9th wheel at the bottom of the decent, JUST where I want to be, when suddenly, 10 dudes who have seemingly forgotten that the yellow line rule is a real thing, attack on the left, despite an oncoming car in the lane. We are swallowed up by a bunch of no-goodies, and all the smart guys have a little dig for the front, but nothing to write home about. I was top 10. 

I am glad the field got DQ'd. it was a total nightmare. If there aren't significant changes made to the final stretch and other key ingredients of this race, I highly doubt I, or anyone that I've talked to would return. 

That, and if I HAD won... Man I would be fuming.

-Sam Rosenholtz