Road Race & Team Time Trial
The Virginia Tech race weekend was an unusual one, mainly because Matt Bruner was not present to shepherd our herd of cyclists, partially because our wonderful Kask helmets could not be displayed for the conference to see, and according to the forecast, this weekend would be the first in which no winter clothing needed to be worn. Despite the unfamiliar circumstances, our select group of B’s and C’s set off for Blacksburg.
The hope for the opportunity to cultivate tan lines was dashed by the chilly weather surrounding the road race course. So the C racers went into the cold weather as usual. There were rare occurrences of uphill crashes on every lap. Adam Stewart opted to drop early in order to give his best in the Team Time Trial. Stephon Beaufort was unwillingly dropped at the end of the first lap, but finished in a group of six to round out the top 20. Nik Smith worked hard the entire race, but was relegated to the back of the field late in the race due to an unreliable enforcement of the center-line rule. The call did not stop him from finishing 8th. Meanwhile, Mary Conrad bared the cold to get her second straight 7th place finish of the season.
The B Men set out to do work in what was an unusually long race. With such long distance, the feed zone was to be utilized. It was placed a few dozen yards in front of the finish line, in the final stretch of the main descent on the course. All racers would be feeding at a considerably high speed. The first two laps of the race were pretty sanguine for all three of our racers, but the third saw Richard O’Briant getting dropped into a second group. Michael Rosenberg followed suit in the next lap. As preparation for the last lap, Rosenberg readied to get fed water. Unfortunately, the aforementioned feed zone circumstance and the failed opportunity resulted in his loss of balance and ultimate acquaintanceship with the road. His ego was bruised, but more importantly, his brand new kit provided by Giordana was torn apart. Kevin Long, with all his kindness, finished Michael at the back of the field. In the end, Dylan Lawson was working hard until the end, and gave the team our best finish of the day with 4th place.
The next day was warmer, and the temperature was such that leg warmer were for once unnecessary. However, this was not the case for Mary; her race began at 8:40 in the morning. She represent for 30 minutes to bring the rear of the race. In the Men’s C race, a fresh-legged Adam was prepared to do the most work on the front of a criterium he’s ever done. He helped to keep the race together up to the final laps. He ultimately brought in the back of the pack. ‘Friendly verbal competition’ is the politically correct way to characterize the interaction between Nik and Stephon that took place prior to Sunday’s race. The friendly competition came into play at the sprint to the finish when Nik raced ahead to take the 10th place spot in front of Stephon’s 11th.
There was much pressure on Richard’s shoulders; he won VT’s criterium in the C’s in 2013. For today however, the legs did not seem to be there as he ended up behind the race early on. Michael, back in the saddle after yesterday’s crash, followed suit. DL had a worthwhile finish in 11th place.