Davy Crockett Classic

Report Date
Thursday, 22 Feb, 2018
For the first omnium of the season, the Night Owls send two racers, Andrew Martin and Mark Bozarth-Dreher, to compete in the 3/4 and 4/5, respectively.  The omnium format for the Davy Crockett Classic was a Saturday AM 8 mile time trial, a Saturday afternoon downtown criterium and a Sunday road race.  The biggest challenge of the weekend was the wild weather.  Saturday morning was misty, but still a warm enough 63 degrees.  But by the afternoon criterium, a cold front was blowing in with temps dropping to the lower 40s.  By Sunday, the temperature was downright brutal for a bike race, a steady 33 degrees, not warming up a single degree the entire morning or afternoon.

In the time trial, Mark put in a great ride for a top 10 finish and Andrew finishing mid pack.  The key in a time trial is your equipment.  Mark was on a road bike with clip on bars.  Andrew on a road bike.  While there were some hills to negate the advantage of a time trial bike a bit, the long flat sections were advantage to those on time trial machines.

The downtown criterium course was slightly changed from the initial course presented in the race bible.  Instead of a "L" shaped course, racers were looking at a rectangular course, with the north end more of a rounded turn around the Houston County courthouse.  Crockett is the Republican capital of Houston County.  One visit to the Moosehead Cafe in downtown Crockett and you can see why.  Reminder: Hillary lied!  Mark was first up in the 4/5 criterium.  On one of the opening laps, he was attempting to bridge to one of the early attackers.  This looked like it was going to be a brilliant move as the early attacker from Dallas Bike Works ended up staying away, picking up all the lap bonuses and with his 3rd place finish in the road race on Sunday would sew up the overrall.  However it was not to be as during the bridge attempt with another rider, Mark got caught up in a crash as the other rider crashed coming out of the southern 90 degree turn and could not avoid it.  Instead of taking his free lap, Mark attempted to chase, but could never catch on to the field.  He ended up being out of the hunt for the overrall, and in retrospect should have taken the free lap, but lesson learned for next time.  In the 3/4, Andrew was very active.  An opening lap attack didn't stick and it was coming down to a bunch gallop for 2nd as a rider got away with 2 to go.  Andrew made the decision to try to be the first out of the southern corners to see if he could get enough of a gap to hold off the field.  However, the two 90 degree turns were not taken agressive enough and he came out of the corners onto the finishing straight into the headwind with not quite enough of a gap.  He was caught with 300 to go and rolled in 23rd.  This aggressive decision took him out of any hope for the overall.

As mentioned the Sunday road race was in brutal conditions.  In the 3/4, a few guys rolled off early and stayed away for the majority of the race.  Andrew tried getting in a few moves to attempt to bridge, but the field wouldn't let him off the leash.  As there was a little precipitation, it was still so cold that glasses weren't fogging up, but theywere icing over!  A rolling course with some pretty sizeable climbs in this lollipop course didn't whittle the field down too much as the final 15 or so miles were straight headwind.  Once into the headwind section, Andrew made sure to stay up front in the top 15 as this race was headed for a bunch sprint.  He put himself in great position for the slightly uphill sprint, but didn't unleash a very good sprint due to the combination of a decision for a bad wheel to follow as opposed to following the wheel of the winner, Will Sharp from Hot Tubes, and starting the sprint too late.  But a finish of 5th was still a great result due to really good positioning.  In the 4/5, it was a large field of 80 racers.  Mark did launch a solo attack early on, but was never given more than 30 seconds was was brought back before the tailwind section.  He did a tremendous job of staying up front and was able to get away late in the final 3 miles from home with one other rider.  They worked together well to keep a gap and Mark finished it off solo with a few bike lengths over his late break buddy.  It was a fantastic result for Mark in just his 3rd road race, showing not only his power but his race management.

Overrall it was a fun weekend of racing in Crockett, Texas and great results for the Night Owls.  The locals were all very welcoming and happy to have the racers in town.  Hopefully next year, there will be a bigger squad and you will see the Night Owls up there fighting for the overall.
Andrew picked up cycling after a devastating knee injury suffered playing ice hockey as a way to rehab and eventually migrated to triathlon, realizing that the cycling was the most ... morefun and rewarding aspect of training. Now based out of Philadelphia, PA, Andrew continues to fly the Night Owls flag as a category 3 and masters racer.
King of the North
Home Town:
Philadelphia, PA
Group Rides:
All Around