Memorial Weekend Wrap-up

It’s been a busy end of May and early June here at the EVCC headquarters but we’re trying to get caught up on race reports and such. With riders seemingly everywhere it takes some doing to keep up, but our riders do a good job of keeping us apprised. If we missed anyone, our apologies but please comment your achievements below.

Glen and Buddy Houts took the high road to Minnesota and participated in the Minnesota Memorial Classic, with Buddy finishing 13th in the omnium and Glen 17th. Read Glen’s full report here.

Brad Auen made a road trip for the “…Robidoux Round up in St. Joseph Missouri. It was a hot day in the mid 90’s. The course was a blend of Swanson and Platte with plenty of climbing. I got off to a top ten start and pick off 4 riders in the opening lap. I had a great time and was glad I found out about this race even if it was the day before. I ended up 2nd in Cat 1 19-29 and 6th overall. I would defiantly recommend it to anyone looking for a change of pace from the local race scene.”

Finally, Kevin Murray went east across Iowa for the triple crown of eastern Iowa racing. Kevin always does a good job of recapping his races on the team results page and here are his enties:

Snake Alley Criterium – I have always wanted to good here and I was feeling primed and ready. Twelve laps up the alley, no problem. Little did I know fate was getting ready to play a cruel trick on me.

First two laps I was in the top 10, feeling good and strong. Not sure when it happened on lap 3 but my legs started feeling heavy. Going up the alley was becoming extremely painful and I was on the verge of pulling out. I couldn’t understand it, I couldn’t be out of shape or over trained, but why would this be happening. Maybe the pace was faster than I could handle.

Anywho, I finished the race and highly upset. Then Rich Pearson looked at my bike and said I was riding my front brake the whole time. Well I’ll be darned, my left shifter had shifted down on the bars, must have been during one of the climbs. This pulled my brake cable tight and locked my front brake. Being carbon fiber wheels, you don’t really come to a stop with the brakes on, they just rotate slower.

In summation, I’m a little upset, but I did get one hell of a hill repeat workout. This should help with Schlitz park at Tour of America’s Dairyland in a couple weeks.

Melon City Criterium – After the prior days fiasco, I was feeling ready for a little redemption in the way of a top 10 finish at this race. I tuned my bike up the night before and everything was working as it should and the brakes were no longer rubbing.

I lined up and was top 5 after the first lap. Going into the first turn of the second lap, the rider in front of me clipped his wheel, went down, and I followed right on top of him as well as 3 other riders. My bars were askew and my der hanger was bent. I was done. A lot of people were extremely mad. So, my good feeling for the day was quickly ruined after the first lap.

Nothing else to tell except I went back to work on my bike and tend my wounds and try for redemption one more time.

Quad Cities Criterium – I’ve always liked this race. It’s a technical (8 turns), pancake flat course. In the best of conditions it can be harrowing. In my case, the masters race, it was pouring rain. The 7th can be a deadly turn in these conditions. I saw at least 7 riders from 2 races before mine go down in that corner. After the last two days I was afraid to try my luck, but I never listen to reason anyway.

So, off we go. With a little trouble clipping in at the start I settle into the pack. One guy seemed to have taken off from the front of the pack and nobody seemed to be responding. So, I moved myself up to the front and try and start a chase. For four laps I was bringing him closer, I even won my first prime while trying to bring him back. I was starting to get tired, so I let up and got back into the pack. Then the pack lets up the pace, at this point I knew we weren’t bringing this guy back. Grr. Then turn 7 I hear the nerve wracking sound of carbon fiber, metal, and bodies hitting the deck. Thankfully it was behind me and only 2 riders went down.

Two guys got off the front and I started another chase. Then some yahoo from the back yells out, “That’s second and third up there!” at which point I yelled, “If you aren’t going to get up here and help then shut up!” Got behind the wrong wheel on the last lap and missed 4th place by a smidge. That was fun.

An hour and a half later it was time to race the 4’s race. This race was completely different. Hot, sunny, and a dry course. My plan was to sit in in the front and wait for the last 2 laps. Nobody was able to get an attack to stay away, everything was reeled back. I kept myself up toward the front in good position the whole time. Last lap the pace was fast. I was 9th wheel going around the final turn when a rider in front had a tire blow. He lost control and the dominoes started to fall. I went off to the left and bunny hopped the curb and came to a stop with two riders on the ground in front of me. I navigated through and crossed the finish in 20th place.

All-in-all these races redeemed the weekend for me. Looking forward to doing it all over again next year.