Here is the race update from the March 19, 2011 Clinton Practice Race. Randall, Theresa, Danika and I showed up to represent the team. We also hooked up with Chad Dexter from Big Sky and Randy and Landen showed up to throw down as well. Weather was cool and breezy, temps in the low 40s.
For those that know the course, you know that one of the biggest challenges during this race is to keep the sticky side down. For the uninitiated, the race course is a 6.5 mile loop going west up the south side of the Interstate from Clinton, crossing over the RR tracks and through an underpass to the north side of the Interstate, heading east back to Clinton, an overpass and crossing the RR tracks again. Total elevation gain/loss each lap is only 100 feet so the laps are hot. 4 laps was the race length yesterday. Average speed during the race was around 22 mph, and that was with 5-10 mph winds that started from the east and then switched to the west with the last 2 miles in a rainstorm and snow flurries as the front finally hit from the west.
Randall, Chad, Randy and I all started with the B chase field. This is a pursuit style race with winner take all, regardless of starting field. There was an A Field that started 10 minutes back, (Landen and the Juniors joined that group) the B field started 5 minutes back and the C field consisting of first timers (and included our own Theresa and Danika) took off first at noon. As the B field rolled up to the line and after roll call was finished the gates on the RR crossing came down and we were held back about 3 minutes until the train passed, then the chase was on.
First two laps were pretty uneventful for the Bs (I heard there were some crashes in the C field), everybody was riding pretty well and getting things figured out when the A’s caught us on the first half of the 2nd lap heading east back to Clinton. The peleton got very large but not too squirrely until crossing the 1st RR tracks on the 3rd lap when Landen stopped in the peleton b/c his handlebar loosened and rolled down. That caused an accident but fortunately nobody on the team was caught up and no physical injuries were reported. I saw a guy from GAS go down and heard that he broke his handlebars.
Those that were in front of the wreck rode away and Randall and I were in the lead chase group but we were slow to organize. Two guys from Northern Rockies were throwing accusations at each other about the wreck and one of them was even yelling at this guy from Muleterro. I thought I was going to see fist-i-cuffs at 20 mph and was just about ready to tell them to shut up and race when the tempo picked up sufficiently so everybody had to concentrate on breathing and riding which took the fight out of them, but the damage was done. We never caught up to the leaders and rode the last 1.5 laps all taking turns at the front holding a good pace. Reminds me that I need to work on my TT skills.
Randy stopped to help Landen and after he got Landen restarted we saw junior shoot past our chase group, he was going at such a speed and slipped away from us before we could latch on. Here are the results of the overall race and summary from the race promoter (note the original showed Randy at 8th but I believe he dropped out so I am presuming that it was Landen, unless it was Randy finishing a lap down)
Thanks to everyone who came out to the training race this morning. We all were pretty lucky that the rain and snow held off until the last 2 miles or so of the race. It was ideal Montana racing weather. I had the opportunity to drive the follow car and follow the “A” category although I almost wasn’t able to catch them because they were moving so fast. Probably the fastest Clinton race I have ever been a part of. I honestly thought that the speedometer on my car was malfunctioning until I turned on the GPS and it verified that yes the peloton really was going that fast.
The finish was furious and into a brisk headwind driven rain.
In the end Shaun Radley beat out teammate Dan Visicheck for the win.
I wasn’t able to get placings for everyone but here is the partial list that we came up with…
1) Shaun Radley
2) Dan Visicheck
3) Jared Nelson
4) Joshua Philips
5) Travis Monroe
6) Peter Young
7) Ben Lovelace
8) Landen Beckner
The top women’s finisher was Linsey Campbell followed by Anna Dingman and Kaitlin Kominsky
Today’s race was officially the last race of winter in Montana so obviously next weekend – being that is will be spring – the weather will be outstanding! See you all then.