Ohio Valley Spring Series - Mentor

March 2, 2003

 Rider Team Place Field
Savage Hill Cycling Team Archive 
1st 
Cat 3-4 
-
Savage Hill Cycling Team Archive 
2nd 
Cat 3-4 
Savage Hill Cycling Team Archive 
6th 
Women 1-2-3-4 
-
Savage Hill Cycling Team Archive 
9th 
Cat 3-4 
-
Savage Hill Cycling Team Archive 
13th 
Cat 4-5 
-
Savage Hill Cycling Team Archive 
14th 
Women 1-2-3-4 
-
Savage Hill Cycling Team Archive 
Field 
Cat 3-4 
-
Savage Hill Cycling Team Archive 
Field 
Cat 3-4 
-
Savage Hill Cycling Team Archive 
Field 
Women 1-2-3-4 
-
Savage Hill Cycling Team Archive 
Field 
Cat 3-4 
Savage Hill Cycling Team Archive 
Field 
Cat 3-4 
  Chris Fisher: 1st, Cat 3-4
Chris Fisher
 
The first race of the season is always a hard one. Even with the
knowledge that it is the first race of the season, for most of the
riders, and that almost all of the riders have faced the same weather
problems that we all have. You never know if the training/riding has
even done anything for you. Will you be able to Sprint? Climb?
Ride a hard gear? Stay with the peleton? All of these questions are,
for the most part, answered in the first race of the season.

Now here is the race from my perspective. Like most, I have not had a
very good winter riding season. I do not like the cold! If it is
below 40 I do not care much for it, but for this season it has been a
necessity. Though I do not think that I have done too many more than
5 rides outside this season. My guess would be 5-10 outside rides. I
prefer the comfort of my woodburning stove and radio than to the
feeling of frozen fingers and toes. So going to the Mentor race I did
know that it was mostly flat, and that the weather was 37 and
dropping, which was tolerable. I did not know that we would be racing
over 60 miles until we were riding up to the start finish line. Rob's
goal for this race was to put at least 1 SHCT rider in the top 5.
With that idea in mind I told Rob and Will that I would let them be
the leaders for this race and I would be worker boy. I knew that
both Rob and Will had the base milage and the conditioning to allow
them to do well throughout a +60 mile race.

As soon as the race started the peleton started a nice pace out on a
very nicely paved and very smooth road. After about a min or so I
became uneasy with the pace and worked my way to the front of the
pack. As soon as I saw open road I started to think should I sit in
or should I go. I decided why waste a nice open road at 20mph it
feels so much better when it is going by at 25. So I picked the pace
up. After about a min or so I started backing the pace back down and
someone shouted that we had a gap. I did not know who was in the
group I was with and did not really care. I just dropped down a few
more gears and took the pace up to 30ish. When I pulled around I saw
that I had approx. six riders with me. There was one of the "Psycho
Dots" two guys in a blue jerseys, and the others I did not really pay
attention to because I was mostly just playing around. It was a sixty
mile race and who would do a breakaway within the first few miles?
When we hit the first slight incline I was leading the small group.
When we crested the top the group was down to me and another rider.
We let up and allowed two more guys to catch up. We continued at a
nice pace for a few miles. One of the three other guys in the group
kept complaining about the way I rode up the inclines. For some
reason I did not like him critiquing me on my riding style, so on the
next incline I made sure that I did not have to hear him complain
anymore. Unfortunately I knew that he was a "Psycho Dot" and that
they had around 5 guys in the field. Once the peleton caught back up
to him there would be another 5 riders chasing us down.

Then there were three. We picked the pace up and tried to keep it
around 26-28mph and eventually one of the other riders popped off even
after I tried as much as I could to keep him in. I figured that I
needed as much help as I could get. The last part of the first half
was for the most part event less. It was just riding. The peleton
was nowhere to be seen and we were moving on at a nice steady pace. I
asked the other rider how he was doing, and he said that he was doing
fine.

As we approached the turnaround we passed the 123's and I was called a
sandbagger or something like that by some guy in a Sobe jersey.


We hit the turnaround and started back. Shortly after the turnaround
I got to see the rest of the peleton which was broken into two groups
approx a half mile or so behind me. Rob informed me that he had
another SHCT rider in the group with him. I pulled for the first mile
after the turnaround and then turned it over to my breakaway
companion. The first words out of his mouth as he hit the headwind
were "shit this sucks." Five miles after the turnaround the other
rider said that he did not know if he could make it. It was quite
apparent because he was having trouble holding 17 into the head wind.
A few minutes later he yelled something that I could not make out and
the next time that I looked back he was about 100 meters back. Around
that time I looked down at my cycle computer and looked at my distance
it was approaching 40 miles, and When it turned to the 40 mile mark I
told myself that it was only going to be 20 miles and one more hour.
I thought to myself that 20 miles is not that bad.. I do 20 mile
rides all the time. Four miles later the pace car came up to me and
informed me that I had 20 miles to go : ( About 20 min passed and
there was not a person in site, I was out of water, and the cramps
were coming fast. I kept any pace that I could keep because I figured
I had many good teammates in the pack and even if I did not make it
one of them would. The next thing I knew I saw a rider behind me in
the distance. At first I was a bit depressed because I came all that
way and did not make it. Then as the rider got closer I saw the white
eyes on the shoulders and knew it was a SHCT rider. At this point in
the race it was very nice to see.

The rider ended up being Rob. He made up ground on me very quickly
and with less than 15 miles to go I just hoped that I had enough to
stay with him. Rob ended up pulling me almost the entire last 10
miles. I would put in any little effort that I had to help, but every
effort I made just about did me in. One of the final climbs Rob
acutely had to wait up for me and yell at me to keep going. My legs
were on the verge of total lockup. Coming into the finish we put our
bikes into the small ring and he asked me if I wanted the win, and
then he pushed me across the finish line.

I was very happy with my results, but I really do feel that any member
of the team in the race would have duplicated my results if they were
put in the same position. The tactical knowledge and support in the
chase group made the race what it was.

It looks as if we will have a good year to come. Ryan and I are both
planning on doing 2/3 and /3 races. This will give many of our other
riders a chance to move up into a position that will allow them to
learn better race tactics in a much more physically stressful
situation.
  JoMay Chow: 6th, Women 1-2-3-4
JoMay Chow
 
Savage Hill's Lisa Antolino, Amy Rees, and JoMay Chow braved a chilly, breezy, overcast day for the Mentor Out and Back Race. A record 20 riders participated in the Women's Cat 1/2/3/4 event with at least 6 of the riders representing the Bio-wheels team. Everyone had been looking forward to a quick 25-mile race so they could get out of the biting winds, but the race official informed the group moments before the start that it would be 35 miles...sighs could be heard coming from everyone.

From the very start, three of the six Bio-wheels riders controlled the pace, and their dominance went unchallenged, presumably because the other riders were operating in "survival mode." Two of the three Bio-wheels riders pulled at the front, sprinted up each hill, slowed during the descents, and essentially blocked the field for nearly the entire race while everyone else continually jockeyed for position near the middle of the peloton.

For most of the race, the group was packed together like a can of sardines. Consequently, there was quite a bit of bumping (and lots of apologizing) going on. The bumping became even more noticeable later in the race during the uphills due to fatigue. At one point during the return, I felt somebody's head and left shoulder bump into my side, but thankfully everyone remained upright.

By the time the main field reached the turnaround point which was marked by an orange pylon just north of Augusta, two or three women had already dropped off the back (we passed them while heading the opposite direction). They probably got dropped when the group strung out somewhere before the 10 mile point where the 5 juniors who were with us turned off--this is where I nearly got dropped as well. Another woman rider dropped during the uphill grade just after the turnaround point, and shortly after that, the group picked up a stray rider from the Men's Cat 5 race. At about that time, I decided to try to stay behind Lisa for the rest of the race figuring that she would know what to do. The remainder of the women's field stuck it out until the second to last grade before the finish--sometime after we passed the quarry (I think). At that point, the hills began to take a serious toll, and more riders dropped. I looked around and saw that Amy had disappeared from view, and then Lisa's legs started to give out after riding the tough Schabobele race the previous day. Lisa told me to go on, and soon after, the final sprint to the finish began. I didn't even see the finish line because I was behind several riders, but I quickly concluded it was coming up because I heard all of the derailleurs shifting and a bunch of co-motion going on towards the front. In a delayed reaction, I sprinted as hard as I could for the last few hundred feet and passed one or two other riders before reaching the finish.