Sunday, February 24, 2008

The First Week of a Month of Races

We had two races this weekend down in Austin. There have been a few races already this year, but these are considered the opener for the season. They were also the first to have two Junior categories. One of them is Jr. Open (anyone from 10 to 18 is welcome), and the other was 10 -14. The first race starts and ends in Walburg, TX, north of Austin. The guys did a 22 mile loop. It has the reputation for being cold and windy, but Saturday it was just windy. I drove one of the other racers down from Joseph's team and we talked strategy quite a bit. They had three 14 year-olds this weekend from TBi. One is a pretty fair sprinter, one is a nice climber and an all-around good rider, and Joseph, who still hasn't found his niche yet. We also knew that there were two GS Tenzing registered. TBi is an open team, meaning anyone who pays the club fee and shows up to race gets to put on the jersey. Tenzing is by invitation only. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't make them elitist. These guys are great guys. It just means that they mean business. And they are good. One of them has been to nationals before and his dad is a professional cycling coach. Nice guy, too. So our strategy was to hang with the Tenzing riders, shelter the sprinter, and get him to the end ready to sprint. That worked out great and he got second, just behind the coach's son. Another rider from San Antonio got third. He was alone off the front for much of the race which is a bad thing for a racer. By the end, he didn't have enough to out-sprint the competition. With a little shelter, and maybe some teammates, he might have taken first. Our all-arounder got 4th and Joseph got 7th. He and another guy were caught behind a truck driving through the course. For safety, the riders know that they can't pass a car, so they just rode right behind the truck, no sprint. Joseph might have caught 6th if not for the truck. We had camped overnight and had a great time. Nice, chilly weather. Teammates and friends. Saturday night spaghetti. Jacob's earlier queasiness is gone. Good times.
Sunday AM, we get up. The race is in the same park that we slept in. I had to register Joseph and a friend. No cost. Thanks Team Hotel San Jose. The race there was only 12 miles, but it had hills. Joseph isn't so good with hills. Our all-arounder is pretty good with hills. Our sprinter is ok. So they take off. The pack is really big for this age group. I think it was 23 to 26. The Tenzing guys cover every attack. We cover all their attacks. Joseph has a bad start and can't fight his way back, he's off the back and comes in 11th. Our sprinter and all arounder both keep with the Tenzing guys. The San Antonio racer wrecks. Our sprinter catches the coach's son at the line and gets 1st. Our all arounder catches the other Tenzing racer napping and nips 3rd. A very good race. These guys are getting some tactics and using them. Joseph is down though. He expected to do better, to last with the pack longer. I think it just wasn't his day.
Also, due to some serendipitous circumstances, my folks are in the general area and come see Joseph race. Afterwards we join them for lunch for my parent's 40th wedding anniversary. Nice day. The ride home takes quite a while and everyone sleeps but me. Next weekend is another race across the river from the park. The weekend after that I'm officiating some HS races in FW and in Collin County, and the weekend after that is a big stage race in Fayetteville, TX. Fun fun fun.

No comments: