Crit, E3 - team mate Richard
finish - OTB
Get to Napa early, I had volled to help Krush with the team set-up. He was struggling with the 10x10 when i arrived, it could have got messy. Lucky turned up when I did, he was close to tears. Tables up, chairs in place, food out. Then O and Tim with his groupy Prasan (sp) moosy into town. Richard is not far behind and teh Brian and Audry with team photographer Ed arrive from the wrong direction!
Anyway, last time at Cherry Pie was eons ago, and I did not race, I was nursing a broken collarbone. The year before that, it was probably 1998 or 97 I was pack fill.
So here we are in 2009, and the new and improved Garry is ready to race, but whats this, the pack as already freeking left the start line, and Richard and I have to chase like crazy. I am with a Roaring Mouse dude and we can't make contact, and RB is behind a little more. I am 30 meters off the back of the field, but it could have been to the moon. But sweet relief, the chief judge realizes his mistake in starting the field too soon and we are pulled and given a free lap. While we are waiting, several other guys roll up, also disturbed by this new NCNCA "start em early" trend.
We integrate (I am gonna use that word a lot this year) into the rear of the peloton and whoosh down. Crikey its a fast race and I am glad i had a few minutes to rest before crankin back up to race speed.
Anyway, a few more laps and several break aways are attempted. I am slowly making my way towards the front but never get there, eventually finding a sweet spot around the 20-30 rider back locale. Every time up the hill I am gaining places, and the concentration around the 180 is nervy but safe enough.
Eventually a break sticks, 3-4 riders are off and although not too far away, the fields speed is up and down like a yo-yo and the break maintains it gap. With 5 to go, the field is antsy, 4 to go there are yells of "hold your line" and "come on, lets go" as the speed is varying. 3 to go and its my opinion there is going to be a crash (there had already been one at the bottom of the hill) and lo, it happens. At two to go just after the chicane, on the hill, someone with a machine gun seems to mow the field down. I can't believe i am going to crash the new ride, dammit. Nowhere to avoid, the brakes are on and I uncleat and plant my foot on a wheel and wait for the inevitable collision from behind. I feel a few bumps, but amazingly I'm OK. All around are riders and bikes lying on the floor.
So i get going again, but the field as long since ridden away, so i do my last two laps at tempo and finish the event. I see the solo survivor of the breakaway ride in, good ride by that dude and get back to the team tent to quickly change and charge over to SFO to pick up Jamiis sister. (Oscar, you missed out, she's a good looking woman)
Back to Napa, deliver Jamii's sister, check out some more racing, say hello to Ann and April and then at the end of it all, take down the tent with our super manager Krush and drive home. dude, i am tired....
Thanks for reading