spring series finale report

The last race of the spring series was unlike all other races. It was a crit – A 1km lap with a serious climb (the finish line was at the crest), a downhill 180 and a fast flat section. We were all excited when we saw how big the hill was and were impressed that Team Abundance found such an awesome, isolated course.

Scott chose not to race because of his 11:00am start time, and since we had all been out riding and bleeping until 3am the night before, we figured 2:15 for the Cat 4’s was as early as we could handle.

Cat 4 report:

Ben and Starr lined up against 30 or so other racers. They had played a little “race before the race” tactic and got pretty good starting positions, which gave them the advantage of good positioning early on. From the sidelines, it looked as though the pack hit the hill hard the first few laps. People were quickly being dropped off the back and we were excited to see Hungry Kits at the front and in control. Ben and Starr both looked strong everytime around. Around lap 15 of 25, Starr was suddenly gone from the pack. On the sidelines, we were all worried he may have wrecked on the decent. Fortunately, it was just a flat tire and he was okay. As the rest of the race continued, Ben remained in good position, staying near the front and helping set the tempo. The final lap bell rang and the Team Hungry supporters (Jackie, Family, Scott and I) anxious for Ben to do well. He Did! We watched Ben fly up the hill and take 3rd position! Nice Job Ben!

Some photos (taken by Scooter) from their race:


Cat 3 report:

I was pumped with adrenaline after watching Ben do so well. Our race started in a similiar manner – the first few climbs were hard and fast and the natural selection was made pretty early on. Fortunately, I made the cut and was riding with about ten other guys. About half way through the race, some guy proved that he was naturally the best by taking off the front and almost lapping us. I didn’t jump with him because I figured the 5 Abundance guys in my pack would start a chase. I think they were more focused on the GC and just let him go.

My strategy was similiar the Ben and Starr’s. I tried staying as near to the front as possible and picked up the pace on the hill whenever people were trying to take a recovery lap. That tactic got me through and with three laps to go, Jamie Raddin, the guy who wins almost every race, jumped hard. I reacted with all I had and managed to get on his wheel. I held it for one lap until he took the 180 turn a an amazing speed. I was unable to hold his line and let a gap open. Needless to say, there went second place for me. I was able however to stay away from the pack behind and rolled across the line 3rd, only seconds behind Jamie.

With two podium finishes, it was the Team’s best day yet. Ben got a real podium picture, but I managed to miss my photo-op. Here’s how we made up for it. We were all winners after all!

cleavage

At the Cleves Time Trial, Scott and I (MC Hewning) looked damn good crossing the line! Half zips turned full, and the numbers came rolling in.

The Cleves TT is one of the longest running bike races around. Going over rolling hills and false flats, the 10.2 mile course proves challening to every rider. Scott and I approached the race conservatively. We both had pretty low expectations – claiming that we were “climbers” and “built all wrong.”

When we registered I was surprised to see so many fully decked out TT bikes. I had no idea that so many people were interested in time trialing in Cincinnati. I actually felt a little foolish sitting on my track bike amongst racers with disc wheels and aero helmets.

The race starts off with the slower racers and worked it’s way down to the faster guys with 30 second intervals between each start. We started 17th and 18th which put us right in the middle of the pack.

The only advise we had was not to kill it from the start. A friend told us to give it a couple of minutes before going all out. Alas, I tried to stay calm on the first stretch of road. Eventually I was nervous that I was going too easy and begin picking up the pace. I don’t really remember anything else except venhilaritory threshold panting. A passed the line, yelled my number, and watched Scott roll through in a similiar fashion.

We waited around for out times and were very pleased when the organizers announced them. Scott came out with 25:22 and I had 24:51, which gave us 11th and 9th overall. Not bad for a couple of scronny guys against slipstream body builders.

More about cleves time trial at QCW.org.

spring valley road race

Not having finished well this year, I went to the Spring Valley road race determined to show the spirit of Team Hungry. Scott Pardi had a rumble in in tummy, and Mike C. was cravin’ some righteous racing. With a big hill finish, we all knew this course played to our strengths. Like every other race this season, the cat 4 race was fast from the start. We caught the 3’s within about 2/3 through the first lap, there were various break attempts, all of which were caught/thwarted by the 3’s presence. Somewhere in the late 2nd or early third lap, the 3’s were neutralized and the 4’s were free to attack. And attack they did, there was a break 4 out of 5 laps right after the hill. Each lap they were caught right before the hill. I bridged a few gaps and took some time at the front, but if another rider didn’t pull through, I sat up. Justin from Team Awesome took extended pulls at the front through the whole race to catch each break. As the bell rang signaling the final lap, another break went, of 2 riders. The peloton did not work together, and the gap widened. At the down hill, up hill 2/3 through the course came, the pack really picked up the pace, and the break was caught at the base of the hill. After a hard climb, I lost sprint and took 11th place. I am still happy with my race.

Scott Pardi is having a great year. He took 2nd place!!! Look at those beautiful legs climb that hill.

Ben