Crash Avoidance at Ride Sally Ride

6 06 2011

This weekend the Bike Doctor team headed over to Sterling, VA for the Whole Wheel Velo Club Ride Sally Ride crit. The weather was great and the course is built for speed. It is a sprinters dream because it is tough for breaks to stick and if a lead out can deliver their sprinter to the last corner a victory is nearly certain. Well the only thing certain would be that the guys would be dodging crashes left and right all day.

The first race for the team was the Junior 10-14, Tanner Browne was entered and ready to do battle with 24 other boys. Tanner was pretty active through out the race and was in a late break with 3 others that looked like it was going to stick. It would eventually come back and Tanner was able to gut out a 4th place sprint finish. Great job Tanner!

Next was the 35+ 3/4 race where Todd “Doc” Bickling, Robb “Wrob” Hampton and Mike Schneider joined the cast of 60 other racers. The guys stayed out of the wind and trouble. The finish was a little hairy and the guys got caught back a little farther then they would have like. They still managed to score two top 10’s where Todd finished 9th and Robb was 12th.

The crew (Doc, Wrob, Mike) from the previous race joined a few others from the team, Cliff C., Sunny Gill, Judd Walencikowski and Brian “Sobe” Sjoberg in the category 3 race. The team certainly had good numbers in a field of 60+ riders. The team strategy was to have a couple of guys cover the front and watch for moves while the others sat back and stayed fresh for the finish. Things were going to plan (Cliff and Sunny had covered everything significant) and with 5 to go the team started to get organized and move to the front. Sunny and Sobe connected and were planning to set up an attack with a couple laps to go. With 2 laps to go, Brian took off down the back stretch while Sunny let a gap open up.  Sobe wouldn’t get very far but kept on the gas to help string things out and was finally consumed with 2 corners to go.

Sunny was in good position going into the final corner, sitting about 6th place but was quickly brought to a stand still when a rider went down in front of him and caused another 10 riders to slow. Sobe was able to avoid the carnage and slipped into 10th place. Notably absent were some of the usual closers in Doc and Wrob. Todd had clipped his pedal and went down with 1.5 laps to go and to avoid t-boning Doc, Robb had to lock up the brakes, leaving a lot of rubber on the road and popped a tire.

The second to last race of the day was the 35+ open race. The team was represented by Brian Rist, Pete Warner, Evan Ellicot, Cliff and Sobe. The team was extremely active through out the race and almost always had someone in the break. Pete was able to take two premes and Sobe was able to grab one. Sjoberg ended up 7th and Warner was 8th.

The last race was the 1/2/3 race, Bike Doctor had all repeat racers in Sunny, Pete, Rist, Sjoberg and Evan. The team was active again in this race but luck was not on their side. Nearly half the team was either taken out by crashes or caught behind them and had to chase back on. No one was able to place in the top 10 but they certainly got in some great training for the weeks to come.

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