Tommy Ketterhagen memorial race

Report Date
Saturday, 20 Jan, 2018
Report
First race of the season was a memorial race for Tommy Ketterhagen in Oatmeal,TX just west of Austin, TX. We raced here exactly a year ago together with Tommy. I took some pictures of him. One week later he was hit by a shady schoolmate driving recklessly in a truck in a hit and run that killed him on the spot.

This year I was in the 80 mile Pro / Cat 1 / Cat 2 race. Racing as a Cat 2. The field was 80+ strong with 3+ professional riders. The wind was pretty strong yesterday. We raced on a loop that had couple hills with head wind and 2 sections with side wind that were perfect for guttering people. Everything stayed together for almost a lap. Group was pretty large, road was fairly narrow, and it was extremely hard to move up. There just wasn’t any space.

Right before the side wind section I saw some activity and decided to move up. A bunch of CCR (race team) went on the attack and the rest of them were acting like a bottle cork, blocking the road for the rest. Once the cork loosened up on the turn the first selection was made. I chased on to the CCR majority group, got there in time for the hammer drop, looked back and… we had a gap that started growing.

After the race 2 people came over and told me that I made “The selection”. Apparently, “The selection” is a fancy, fairly large, breakaway where the pros drop the hammer on a crosswind section and gutter everybody only to see who can hang. If Seinfeld was a bike racer he would for sure make an episode called “The selection”.

Right before lap 4 fairly large group of about 20 riders made the bridge to us. Alan was in it. Alright! Now we were a decent sized group again. I was near the end of the group when we hit the same sidewind gutter section. Big mistake. The hammer was dropped by about 15 guys in the front and a gap started opening again. 10 of us started chasing. Alan & Eli pulled the plug, since they were probably gassed from bridging before. It was about 5 of us left. I was pulling full gas. Everything I had. My only thought was to get to the downhill section so that I can crash into the aero tuck and die. I managed to get to the downhill… aero tuck… I’m closing on the group…. I think… I just looked at my front wheel… heart rate coming down… I look up and I see the group… another pull I look back and I see only David W behind me. I’m thinking he’ll just pull to the front and finish the bridge since I was pulling him. Man was I wrong. He just attacked me and joined solo. It’s rough out there. I just got dumped. Ouch. I dug extra deep for another 30 seconds gave it all I had and managed to bridge. So much pain. Now we were about 22 guys. Later on, I looked at Gevin G strava on this section. His average heart rate for those 7 minutes was 185 with max at 193 and he was dumping 400 or 500 watts when he was pedaling while being somewhere in the group.

After that chase my legs were shot. Winter training was about long steady miles. This was not it. Definitely was not ready for those kinds of efforts. Never the less, I was in the group and determined. Somewhere in here my favorite German in Austin, Stefan Rothe(rothetraining.com), asked me if I was going to write this report, not long before going on a solo attack for half a lap. Watts!

Last loop, my legs starting to cramp. I see the downhill section coming right before the finish uphill sprint. I get into the tuck… passed the whole group to 3rd wheel. Great position, if only I had the legs for the sprint. Nope. I managed a measly seated sprint for 18th place.

Considering only 20+ guys finished in the front group and all of them Cat 1s, my 4-hour/week average training in Jan with two, week long, trips to Chicago in the past month and a half. I consider myself lucky to be among the finishing group.

My dad would always ask me to write those reports and would religiously read them. He kept asking me when was the next race. He passed away 2 weeks ago from cancer. Wish he was still here to read this.

Our NightOwls.Bike team did great. Mark Bozarth-Dreher finished 2nd in cat 5 race. Andrew Martin and Ramsey Foster both finished top 10 in Cat 3 race.

Can’t wait to get out new kits in Feb. They are sick! We are long overdue for a new look.

Thanks to our sponsors: @bradleylhouston @313longboards @neloscycles, rubble trucking company, Thea.com, Tudor McLeod Asset Management
 
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
Home Town:
Austin, TX
Speciality:
Sprinter, Rouleur
Road Category:
2
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