Pace Bend Road Race Report

Report Date
Monday, 27 Feb, 2017
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Most intense race I’ve been in. Race started fairly easy. Then, first lap people started trying to break away. Nothing went. I’m not sure why it felt like a 62 mile criterium race, but nothing could stay away. Maybe because it had all the top dogs (Eli & Lucas the national champs, winners of Sealy & Fayettville from previous weeks, strong dudes from Dallas and Oklahoma). Maybe it was the hilly terrain, maybe lack of wind, maybe the turns, but people would not let anything go. It took me a while to warm up and I started feeling good only in the second half of the race.

At one point around lap 6 or 7, I rolled to the front and did my 30 second pull. Waved the elbow, then the hand. Then I heard “sandbagger”! I tried to go left then right. Nobody would pull through. Fine, I did another small 30 second pull. Same thing, snaking around the road nobody would come through. I felt like that Utah GOP congressman, Jason Chaffetz, at a town hall. Chairs were about to be thrown at me any moment. Honestly, it was not my business to go fast, especially with all those hills. I’m happy to go 10mph and wait for the sprint. Crowds wanted balls to the wall, I didn’t. I was happy to sit on their wheel and wait. That’s the game. Though, I did have to chase 150 foot gap break a lap later.

Lap 8 or 9, I was again chilling in the pack and all of a sudden Eli attacked up the big hill on the north side. Dropped everybody except 4 guys or so. I was a bit boxed in and once I got to the top of the hill they were already 150 feet away. Started chasing and managed to connect at the right turn to the south. At this point the field was neutralized. Actually, I’m not exactly sure when the field was neutralized but I think it was at this point. It was great for me since I could rest, but I still think I could have sat on their wheel as at this point and recover as it was a downhill section and one thing I do well is go downhill. But it was horrible luck for Eli to do all this work and then get neutralized once you get a break going.

Lap 10, learned my lesson, Eli goes and attacks up the big hill again, stretches the whole field into a single line. All of a sudden I hear that sound as if bones are breaking behind me. Crash #1: Up the hill! Now, we started going at a pretty good pace I’m sitting top 10 position. Feeling good. Great place to be.

Around 3K to go. Official’s motorcycle rolls in on us. We are neutralized?! What?! It’s 3K to go and we are hammering it full force. All kind of expletives start flying at the official. I was pretty upset as well. Adrenaline red lining here. P/1 field is passing us to finish. Most of the front pack passed without a problem but now there’s a trail of P/1 “stragglers” and they are not able to pass us quickly. Finally, at 1K to go we are released like a raging bull from a cage. I’m sitting a bit to the side 4th or 5th wheel. Going downhill… All of a sudden: Crash #2 behind me somewhere. Don’t look back! Sounded really bad. 300 meters… 3rd wheel. I’m trying not to sprint and see if anybody will start first so that I can get some draft. I feel like the front 2 begin to slow down. Ohh hell no, I’m not going to slow down I’ll get swamped alive. At this point I was feeling fresh, angry about the neutralizations (even though probably in my favor) and full of adrenaline. The best way to sprint. Got in the drops started hammering with anything & everything that I had. I was passing a bunch of P/1 that gave up. All of a sudden I heard another: Crash #3 right behind me around the 200 meter line. Apparently 2 people we fighting for position behind me. Lucas and the winner of Fayettville. Feyettville dude went down hard…. I cross the finish 4 or 5 bike lengths in front. Yes!

Felt lucky to not go down and nobody touched my back or front wheel. Others had worse luck. One guy from Dallas wasn’t moving on the course and had to be taken in an ambulance to the hospital. Horrible & Intense! I've friended his teammate and waiting for a status update on his condition.
 
Cyclist
Born in Moscow, Russia. Lived in Israel. Started riding when I came to Austin 17 years ago at the age of 18 & got my first Trek 1000.... more

Joined UT Austin Cycling Club, while at school, but other sports, work & classes got in the way of racing. Though the years, visited all of the Hawaiian Islands on the bike - camping, riding and climbing the volcanoes.

Got the racing bug again in 2016 after visiting Mellow Johny's MOTR group ride. First race back was in 2016 Cat 5 Meegan Baab RR - never looked back since.

Code monkey behind Thea.com & StructuredDomains.com.
Nickname:
Drago, Big Red
Home Town:
Austin, TX
Speciality:
Sprinter, Rouleur
Road Category:
2
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