Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Verge NECCS #7 NBX GP of Cross
Warwick, RI

My alarm didn’t even get a chance to go off, I was up and out of the house in no time, I felt rested, felt good, I was utterly prepared to Rock-uh. During the warm up my legs no longer had the ooky feeling of the day before. The course conditions had changed, what was mud was now frozen weirdness, the texture of freezer burnt ice cream. This was the single speed hell course of last year, flat, parking lot start, downhill finish, hardpacked and fast, the race hadn’t started and I was already in survival mode.
Got the call up again, I was now joined by the guy I am tapping as next season’s Uber-Sandbagger, Colin Reuter, who had picked up some points the day before. “Oh god, I’m behind Thom Parsons, he starts like a slug” he says. That and I don’t EVEN sprint like a Hippo (they are very fast in short bursts, Richard Fries should watch more Animal Planet) I sprint more like Rush Limbaugh (before he got hooked on diet pills and got all svelt) after he’s washed down a bottle of Oxycontin in the bathroom of The Old Country Buffet with a tall, cool glass of chocolate pudding.
We took off, me on Brendan Cornett’s wheel, things weren’t looking too bad, then John Peterson tried a new tactic, leading the field into the tape fifty yards shy of the actual corner. I didn’t get completely screwed but I didn’t get off easy either, dropping back into the twenties. Somehow Cornett went clear, bringing with him Colin and Ryan Rumsey, leaving me in the dust, and by dust I mean wet sand and gravel. I wasn’t able to ride the first sand section which put me back some more, the barriers were daunting, I felt like I’d never done a dismount before, I swear I had this stuff down better in my rookie season last year. The wet, sandy, paved corner by the Gazebo was just about the scariest thing I’d ever seen. I’ll barrel down a fire road at 40mph on the mountain bike, but put a little bit of grit and water on some asphalt and I’m shaking in my cleats.
Going into the first few hairpin corners I could see Rumsey and Colin up there absolutely killing it, I was happy to see some new faces on the front, I cheered them on from the backseat with fifteen riders between us. I was in a bad ass group with Cambridge Bike riders Pete Smith and Jeremy Dunn, I was struggling but holding on, then going into the second beach section I bobbled. I tried to cut to the inside line and crashed immediately, this forced me to run the entire length of the beach, running is not my forte and I went deeply anaerobic, unable to recover after the run up, I lost contact and lapsed into no man’s land.

The Sven Nys of the 2/3's catches up to me after a rough start

I accidentally kick him the arm for his trouble on the remount

After that stuff happened…y’know…things…’n’ more stuff (Best...report...ever). There were five guys in front of me, Colin was up there, I could see Rumsey leading Cornett (yeah buddy, you go my Mt. Bike brethren) Rowell and some dudes including IBCer Jim Newton were just behind me and looking hungry for blood, my blood. I was riding the sandpits in various horrifically ineffective ways, trying to figure out the absolute worst way to do it. I never did exhaust all the possibilities. I did hold off the chase group and the Zanconato rider who made a solo charge across the gap, coasting down the hill to 12th place, my second best finish in one of these things ever.
I thought it was pretty cool, after an entire season of seeing the same faces on the podium to have Ryan Rumsey win this thing, he’s always been a solid rider, but I don’t think anyone would have picked him to pull of a big fat W in a Verge Series race, he definitely earned it. Colin Reuter’s 10th wasn’t to shabby either, can’t wait to see what’ll go down next season when (if) the guys who should upgrade actually do so.

Below is a nice sequence from Jason Girouard (above photos are his as well).
I wasn't able to ride this thing most laps, sometimes because of traffic, sometimes because I sucked at riding my bike. At one point the Bart Wellens of The Verge 2/3's rode up behind me and warned "you better be able to ride this" (oddly he spoke in English not Flemish) the rider in front of me bobbled, so I bobbled, so Bart bobbled, he got wicked pissed. "Silly Bart, you shouldn't even be in this race, especially not behind a kooky single speeder" I thought.

1 comment:

Colin R said...

i believe i also had a run-in with mr wellens. perhaps he has not been kicking enough fans lately and he needs to relieve some stress.