Wednesday, May 16, 2012

OBRA Road Race Championships: Part 1

From the Women 1/2/3 race in the afternoon (Photo credit:Ben)

Well the first day of the OBRA Road Race Championships were this last Saturday. All said and told I think they were a big success.

Capitol Velo was in charge of the soiree. More specifically Mike, Kurt, Jim and Eric. They did an awesome job. Between the heat, the local drivers and a really large number of racers it made for a mad capped day. But I think we pulled it off in swimming fashion. Only on bikes... It would be weird to swim in a bike race. That's just silly. I digress...

My entire day involved sitting my fat butt in my car and driving around in circles. Which was fine by me. Just looking at all these people suffering in the wind and sun made me feel as though I'd made the correct choice (With just a light seasoning of guilt.).

My morning shift was to be the lead car in the men's Cat. 4 race (My own category. I think the powers that be wanted me to feel guilty...) which was 3 laps of the 13.5 mile course.

The course has only 4 "real" hills but there really isn't a flat spot on the whole course. Just up, down, up, down in between.

The first two laps of the men's race were pretty subdued. Not a ton of action going on in the rear-view mirror. But on the radio there was all kinds of chatter about the different categories potentially catching the 4's because of the slower tempo (They were still moving along at 20 (ish) mph most of the time.). It was kind of  a weird scenario that kept in play the whole day. The categories that you would think would be fast weren't and the one's you would thing wouldn't be, were. Huh, go figure...

On the third lap of the men's race several racers took a dig on the steep hill on Enchanted Way. But it was pretty obvious that they either didn't have the juice or the peloton wasn't having it. So it was a sprint finish at the end.

The guy in the ditch was a Masters racer I believe. Cramps and heat exhaustion were a common theme through out the day.
In the afternoon I was the lead car for the Women's Cat. 1/2/3 race. Which I was pretty pumped about. Next to the Masters 35+ and the Pro 1/2 races its generally the most action you are going to see. And the ladies didn't disappoint.

For the women's race I was joined in the car by Ben (Photographer extraordinaire) to take pictures of his girlfriend (Mackenzie) and the race. Ben was a real nice guy. Although conversation was tough sometimes. Because he spent most of the race poked up through my sunroof to get the best shots he could (I was really impressed by his knee and leg strength. Holding himself in that awkward position had to be tough). I learned that both of them were triathletes. And after becoming Face Friends I discovered he knows a guy I grew up with (Hey John!). Small world... All the great pictures in this post are from Ben. He was nice enough to allow me to use them (See, I told you he was a good guy.).

The ladies were attacking pretty consistently for the first three of four laps. After that I got the feeling the ones that were left in the field were trying hard to save something for the sprint.

There was a racer I never got a chance to compliment after the race but this lady~

I believe her name is Anna. The one just to the left is Mackenzie.
 She get's the Super Tough Chicka award for this race. I swear every time I looked in the rear-view mirror she was either pulling the train (Huh, huh) or off the front. And then at the end she lead her teammate out for the victory. She was double tough. Huge kudos to her.

In the Men's Pro 1/2 race I couldn't have been happier if I was twins with good friend Graham coming in second. He and a couple others started a break the first lap and just kept it going the whole race. He shed all but three of his breakaway companions on the final lap. With the eventual winner taking the final corner in the lead and gapping the rest. Graham couldn't bridge the gap and win the sprint so he had to settle for second. Still a great achievement and they had over 6 minutes (!) on the rest of the field. Double tough effort and quite impressive.

So that's the first day of racing. The second comes in mid-June and should have some good racing too.

Thanks again to Ben for permission to use the photos. Great job to the team for putting on a great race!

Rubber side down,

Big E

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