It’s a new day in Superweek at Olympia fields. A new course that was going to be shortened because of a sewer cap protruding from the asphalt, and the race distance shortened because the chronic late set-ups of the course. So much for arriving early, like way early. Again there were a number of xXx Racers going into the 4/5’s race. It was go to see Loukas again, along with Dave Moyer, Jared, Alberto, and Andrew Heidal. With so much time before the race, the group got a good warm up in and got a good discussion on what we wanted to do with the team. Because of the technical course, we wanted to hit it hard for five laps after the first lap, everyone taking a lap. We wanted it strung out because of turn three, and because of the short course we wanted to lap racers so they would pull them from the race. Thus a safer race. Everyone had their own plan too, if they were there at the finish. This is the most comfortable/confident I felt gong into a race, everyone knew what the other was going to do. Or comfortable maybe because we were talking so much I was not able to worry about the race. Even Loukas said, ‘Let’s not micro manage this race’. But I like having a plan. My plan before the race was to hit it against the wind up hill about the start/finish line with a lap to go, 1 half mile all out. I wanted a gap by turn 2 so I could use the wind going down hill and hit turn three without the group.
The race started and so did our plan. Jared took it out right away, he didn’t wait for one warm up lap. It surprised Loukas, Dave, and myself but we went with it. We came through the first lap 1,2, & 3. Then again for the second lap. We keep the pace up and keep the rotation going. Four other rides did not like the fact that we were pushing the pace and did not want to see a three man break with only xXx riders in it. After the sixth lap we reached our goal and eased up to find a seven-man break with a good gap. Only Andrew from Pegasus helped with the pace for the first 6 laps and we told him we would work together. We did notice two guys from Beverly Vee-Pak in the break not doing any work. I made mention in the pack that we made the break but they needed to work too. Clark from Beverly then took the lead and the pace pushing was back on. This break was going to work.
Then it happened. Clark came into turn three with Loukas 2nd wheel and I 3rd. The pace was fast and Loukas cut the turn hard and went down. I tried to go wide but know I would go off the road so I turned in hard but could not get around Loukas. I t-boned him (sorry), went over the bars and landed on him and the bike (sorry again but thanks for the cushion). Everyone got around us and then I heard them yell crash. Everyone in the group eased up except for Clark, he attacked. Thanks to Andrew from Pegasus who stayed back to help try and bring us but to the break. With all the excitement, I made sure Loukas was Ok and got back on the bike. I will catch them, after all this work that was done, I will fight and catch them. The adrenaline took over and not the brain. After two laps I realize that I crashed and could have gotten a free lap. That is the inexperience kicking in again. So after three laps on my own and suffering, I decide to ease up and let the chase group catch me. I will sit back and recover and race for the field sprint.
The plan now was the same in effect but racing for fifth place. With three laps to go the pace car goes around us because the lead group is about 300 yds behind. And as we go through the start/finish, the officials change the counter from 2 laps to go to 1ap to go. My plan was to go so I went. I think the confusion helped. For the last position in the chase I sprinted up on the inside to be protected by the wind should I hit turn 1 and still not at the front. But by the time I hit the top of the hill I had a lead and a faster pace. I hammered around turn 2 and opened the gap more with the hill and the wind. Hit turn three without slowing too much and held everyone off for 5th at the finish.
It was a great race. The planning, the attacking, and the Team. It was great to see that the efforts of the team paid off for a win by Dave. Nothing better than a win for the Team. Nice job Dave. I still could not believe I forgot to take a free lap but live and learn. I could have gotten a better placing but I am out here to learn and boy oh boy did I learn a lesson today. Great job 4/5 xXxer’s. I think we are showing some domination. Lets keep up the good work. Tomorrow Richton Park.