Tuesday, April 1, 2008

San Dimas Race Report (from first to worse)

Hello everyone,

Well here's my attempt at a San Dimas race report. Actually lots of things to report this time. Let's start with the good news. Gabriel Garcia and Brett Harrison were the big stars of the weekend in their respective classes.

Brett rode a solid uphill TT to put himself in 6th place. In the RR he rode with the leaders but was unable to move up in GC. But the crit is where he earned his stripes. He took 3rd in the time bonus sprint to move up to 5th in GC and by the end of the race his field was blown apart and he ended up moving up one more spot to finish 4th in GC! Excellent work Brett way to be aggressive!

Gabe was bummed after the TT. I think he placed 48th and he was all down on himself. But in the RR he more than made up for it. He rode smart at the front of the pack all day, and when he crested the final climb he was in group of about 10 that had a few seconds on the rest of the field. As they came to the line Gabe lit the after-burners and won it going away by probably 4 or 5 bike lengths. Then he thrust his fist in the air and let out a "cave-man" like scream that scared all the birds out of the trees. His wife Kate told me he did the same thing on their wedding night. He followed that performance by riding strong in the crit and finishing 2nd and secured himself the green points jersey. Of course why would you want to wait around and stand on the podium with your hard earned sprinters jersey when you can go to a free breakfast buffet at the Hotel? So both Brett and Gabe missed their awards ceremonies 'cause they were busy stuffing their faces.

Kimberly Turner and Susan Farber both rode in the womens 3/4 race. I know Susan wasn't feelin' great and abandoned during the road race. Kimberly improved each stage with a 23rd in the TT a 16th in the RR and a 14th in the crit. Nice work Kimberly!

In the 3's we had me and Steve Swartzendruber. We both rode marginal in the TT with me finishing in 28th and Druber a few seconds back in 32nd or something like that. The RR was fun and we were both in the lead group at the end for the wild sprint finish. Our group had been caught by about 10 of the cat 2's that had broken away. We were all mixed together as we lined up for the sprint, and the lead motorcycles for some reason felt inclined to go across the line with us. We had 40 cat 3's, 10 cat 2's, and 5 motos all duking it out for position. It was crazy! I managed a 10th and Druber got 23rd. Nothin' to write home about but we were in the mix.

Sunday's Crit is when the real action took place. I started the day with high hopes but 20 minutes into the race my hopes were dashed when my legs and my brain apparently got into an argument and decided to stop talking to each other. I was unceremoniously dropped from a crit for the first time in my life. I wish I had a great excuse or could say that I later discovered that my brake was rubbing but no such luck. My bike was in perfect working condition. After riding with my tail between my legs back to the car and changing, I walked over to watch the end of the race and see how Druber would finish. Unfortunately, Druber finished strapped to a board in the back of an ambulance with his pupils the size of quarters. Steve has little to no memory of what happened, but according to eyewitnesses just after a prime sprint somebody in front of Steve crashed. In his attempt to avoid that rider he became entangled with another rider and went down hard. By the looks of him his head and body took the bulk of the damage. But further inspection also revealed a broken Cervelo frame, broken handlebars, a broken Zipp front wheel, a broken helmet, and a severely dented pocketbook! After a few hours in the hospital they released him with a concussion and a lifetime worth of roadrash! Steve was one tough customer in the ER talking cheerily with the nurse as she scrubbed his wounds with a stiff bristle brush and hydrogen peroxide. A quick shot of morphine in his butt and he was all set for the drive home!

Besides the crashing part, we all had a great time racing and hanging out in San Dimas. We went out to a couple nice dinners with a few of our Platinum friends. One of whom was the Devil himself disguised as Mark Fennel. I know Steve will recover and hopefully we'll see him on the bike again soon. At least one good thing came from the crash. It temporarily drew attention away from the fact that I got dropped........in a crit!!! Thankfully, Gabriel and Brett's triumphs made all of us feel like winners at the end of the day....except Steve... I think he just felt sore!

Can't wait 'till Island View and Ojai.

See you out there,


1 comment:

Greg Knowles said...

Matt, thanks for the report. Sorry to hear about your humaness. Someone must have had some kryptonite in there jersey pocket. Druber, nasty photos, I hope you are healing quickly. All the best for a speady recovery.