Sunday, May 13, 2007

Race Reportage--Vuelta Valencia

Not a whole lot to say about this race ...but that won't stop me from spewing forth some verbage anyway!

First of all, this was originally on the calendar as a stage race. Ben Cardenes (Carrerra Promotions) has been trying to put this stage race on each year since around 2000 and has succeeded about half the time. Got to give him credit for trying, seeing as he's the only promoter who's been bold enough to attempt the Acton RR and all the logistical hassles that involves. This year he couldn't swing it and ended up with another industrial-park, single-day crit-like race.

But give him credit again, because he turned the boring industrial park roads into a pretty darn nice course, as shown here. The whole place is on a slight incline, which combined with the steady 15 mph wind blowing, turned this two-hour race into a good hard day.

We had around 50 starters in the p/1/2 race with the only major team being Kahala/LaGrange with all their good guys back from Tour of Virginia. Plus, as usual, the Mezas, Thurlow, C-Walk, Zamudio, etc. Cookie, MarkZen, and I knew we had to try to mark any move with those key guys, and we did it pretty effectively for the first half of the race.

Unfortunately, I'm starting to think that I should just paste the same dang race report in here each week, because it's always the same players, and more often than not, the same thing happens. Yep, about an hour into this thing, a strong group of seven got away from us. Your reporter tried hard but couldn't get on. Right over the top of the incline, C-Walk, Thurlow, Rigo, Cantwell, Zamudio, etc. pulled away. Of course I wasn't alone--the rest of the field wasn't helping either.

They proceded to put a minute into the ever shrinking field, and as the end neared, we were sniping and attacking each other for those prestigious 8th-12th places remaining. One lap MarkZen got out a few seconds from the group, and I was near the front and didn't pull through which apparently really annoyed Pat Caro (Schroeder Iron) 'cause he lit into me like I had just stolen his lunch money. Dude, I'm not blocking ...I just don't want to be seen pulling my teammate back... ok?!? If it bothers you, come on by and get up there yourself. Actually, I have a long memory of little this-'n-thats in bike races and Pat has been kind to me on more than one occasion (i.e., little pushes here and there, open up a gap to let me in, etc.), plus he is a good bike racer, so I completely forgive his transgression today. After the race he admitted it was just frustration for missing the break. I hear ya, bro.

...but I did have a bit of extra motivation now to try to beat him at the end, which I did thanks to a monster sacrificial pull from Adrian Gerritts that closed the gap to Pat and Ryan Yee. I couldn't get by Ryan by the line, but I did go by Pat for 10th. Who cares...

Up front, Cantwell won another race. Coupla weeks ago, he got a stage or two in the Tour of Virginia. This Aussie kid is a motor and, bet on it, he will make a name for himself. Kinda like a younger Hilton Clarke, without all the sketchy slicey-dicey stuff.


Gotta say that MarkZen and Cookie were warriors today--getting in lots of moves--but in the end Mark was hampered by his lingering respiratory problems, and Cookie decided to jam his chain into his bottom bracket. Bummer!

In the 40+, Rob Neary and Fred Hoblit got a nice big gap and then Fred flatted. Rob kept rolling for a good win. At his size, I bet he didn't even notice that the wind was blowing! Teammate Blinger got a good solid 4th. Way to go Bling!


Cynthia said...

I love your race reports! The light-hearted humor makes me smile and think, yup, I've been there, fighting with a vengeance for a good mid-pack finish. Except, in our race, our "pack" was a whopping 8 girls. And I gave a good solid fight for 8th place. Hey, I figure if I can't beat people, at least I can keep it interesting for the officials and race (myself) to the line rather than just soft pedaling in.

Which reminds me, I must go post this in my own race report....

See you at West LA?

- Cynthia

Marco Fanelli said...

Good job Cynthia!! The way I see it, you beat the other 92 women who didn't show up because they knew it would be too tough!

99% sure on West LA... it's a great race.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the report! I ended up missing it. How did the payout shake out? I saw the promoter had a disclaimer where he only had to pay partial if x amount of guys showed up. Don't know if I agree with that since the entry doesn't slide. ; (

Marco Fanelli said...

Yeah, the disclaimer... he has a rep for "funny" stuff like that. Mixed feelings really... I mean, how picky can we really be? It's not like there are a ton of races to choose from. Plus he does come up with some nice courses and his events are usually pretty well organized. I give him a "thumbs up".

I got $24 for 10th place. I'll ask CW what he got for 5th.