Cue The Final Countdown. The music fades slightly as the deep voiced narrator of your choice begins to read this post.
The entire Velo Quips team convened Friday night for a meeting of “epic” proportions. The topic? Taking on the West. . .Virginia racing scene.
3.5 hours, one stop at Sheetz, and one stop at Shell later, the three amigos arrived in the quaint town of Rowlesburg, WV. After parking in “la prima posición” between the officials’ motorbikes and the wheelcars, numbers were pinned and it was time to
race wait around for an hour before their races started.
Disc brakes. So pro.
This downtime gave Andrew the opportunity to perform some last minute bike maintenance.
“Can you help me lube my chain?”
And gave time to admire Eran’s new shoes:
Nice kicks bro!
Cat 1/2/3 Report
By Eran Preble
A rather small field of 30ish riders gathered for the start of 1/2/3 road race. Everyone stood quietly, eying up each other’s equipment. Air Attacks were unfortunately present, as a few riders looked like they were ready for a moon landing instead of a mountainous road race. Everyone gave the guy with a frame pump a funny Iook, because those who did our research would realize the foreshadowing of his casual set up.
The field rolled out slowly and on the first gradual climb out of town (6 miles, 700 ft) I rolled off the front with a rider from Iron City Cycles. Towards the top of the climb we were caught as Andrew Seitz (Mr. Frame Pump) from Panther, led the charge and opened up a gap over the top of the climb. He went clear solo and the field seemed content to roll steady, keeping him just in sight.
The second climb of the day was short and steep. It led to 5-10 riders losing contact with the group as Frame Pump continued to hold a nice 30 second lead. Everyone was sure he would come back to the field but he started the first huge climb of the day well in front. About halfway up the climb the field started to split. Six riders, including myself, a Cleveland Brothers, CAT, ABRT and NCVC rider, among others, comprised the lead group. With about a half a mile to the top the CAT rider put it in high, shedding myself and one other rider, Over the top, it seemed the race had been decided. Four riders rolled up to Frame Pump and I fell back to the second group of 8. Anyone who was popped by this point was in for a long and miserable hillbilly Sunday.
The lead group hit the flat section in the middle of the race with a 30 second gap and quickly piled it on, despite our chasing efforts, By the start of the final climb (7 miles, 1200 ft), we had given up the gun. The main group went up with everyone looking at each other and eventually Frame Pump put down the hurt on his group, going on to win solo.
In the second group things were much more tame: With a jumbo slim Jim in my back pocket as bait, I led the second group up the climb. 3 of us went over the top together, The District Velo rider and his sexy Vino-edition tarmac got tailed off on the wild and crazy fun descent. I came across in sixth disposing my descending partner in a final sprint for the ages. “Oh crap is that the finish line?” I proclaimed stupidly as I led out the sprint with 200 meters to go. Luckily I had some gas in the tank to avoid pure embarrassment.
Cat 3/4 Report
By Andrew Baker
The race saw a large sorting out over day’s first categorized climb, shedding all but 16 riders. The intermediate 20 miles were covered by a hilarious paceline of guys averaging about 19 years old and 140 lbs. Kelly Benefit Strategies riders controlled the pace of the and contributed a significant amount of work on the front to keep this group away. The second categorized climb administered even more pain on the lead group, stringing it out before the apex. Kelly Benefits crushed the field sprint of 10 riders, sending Danny Gibney to victory, with Jessie Stauffer coming in second. Ian Baun from UPMC Medical Performance rounded out the podium in third.
Personal note: On the first climb, 4.26 W/kg for 15 minutes was enough to stay with the lead group. On the second climb, I took a trip to Cramp City, and put out a measly 3.91 W/kg for 20 minutes, which resulted in a connecting flight to Drop City and a finish off the back of the lead group.