The Bike Doctor crew was alive and kickin’ at this years Carl Dolan Memorial spring classic put on by team DC Velo. While the course may lack technical, the wind usually makes for an interesting race and it is hard to complain about the job DC Velo does. Especially the nice ice cold post-race towels and snacks!
To start off the days action, Bike Doctor fielded 5 riders (Fife, Giles, Hampton, Ramos, Sobe) for the Master 35+ open race. The pre-race plan was to try out a preme or two and then sit in for the sprint. Where the guys would gift wrap the sprint for Sobe to finish off. Many of the guys had done this race in the past and were used to the long uphill sprint however the DC Velo guys decided to throw a little curve ball and place the sprint line another 100 meters down the road. Ouch!
Well the first half of the race went to plan, Sobe shot off the front with about 800 meters to go and coasted in for the first preme. First leg test, check. The rest of the race was a bit of a blur with some threatening groups getting a little distance but nothing that made the alarm bells go off. With 3 to go, the bell rang for another preme and Sobe found Giles’ wheel on the back stretch. Sobe was all ready to grab the suicide preme thinking Giles saw him latch on and was ready to crank up the lead out. Well Giles went just after the last corner and Sobe went along for the ride, knowing no one was behind him. With 300 meters to go, Sobe looked around and decided forget the sprint, lets take this thing all the way and just took a pull. On the back side the moto ref called out 15 seconds and they knew they had a shot.
So the heads went down and the heart rates went up. Coming through with 1 to go, the guys looked back and saw considerable daylight and really thought they could pull it off. They knew Hampton, Ramos and Fife would be all over the front, shutting things down. The moto ref gave one last time check of 25 seconds on the backside and they knew they had it in the bag. The guys kept motoring and were able to rejoice in a very rare moment of bike racing. Oh yeah, double victory salute! It doesn’t get much better than that.
Next up was the cat 3/4 race. Stepping up to do battle for Bike Doctor was Bickling, Chamberlin, Chun, Fife, Hampton, Ramos and Schneider. Well lets just call this race what it was, a crash derby where a very significant crash happened about midway that involved a good friend of the team, Chuck Kyle. At first it looked very bad and he had to be hauled off in an ambulance. Recent reports indicate that he is doing better. We hope he has a speedy recovery.
When the crashes weren’t happening the guys were mixing it up well and were getting ready for the finish when another huge pile up occurred with 3 to go that took out Ramos. Unfortunately his day was done (chalked up a few bumps and bruises). With the laps closing down and field thinning it was time to try to win this sucker. Todd Bickling was in perfect position coming up the finishing stretch when all the sudden a rider went down in front of him and Todd launched into the air at 30 MPH. Luckily his trajectory landed him on a grassy medium that significantly cushioned the blow. Hampton was able to avoid the carnage and placed 9th. Rounding out the top 20 was Chun, Fife and Chamberlin.
Last on the menu was the 1, 2, 3 race. Clipped in for this one was Chun, Cordova, Giles, Gill, Neto and Sobe. It was obvious that DC velo was going to be the team to watch today. They fielded a large team with all of the top tier guys. The first part of the race was pretty uneventful with small breaks forming but they were reeled back fairly quickly. When the first bell rang for a preme, Sobe’s eye’s lit up and he moved into position. The field was strung out along the back side and just at the bottom of the hill Sobe lit it up with only one guy to catch that was dangling off the front. He flew by him and had a comfortable gap that allowed him to ease off the gas and coast in. The team would have some post race PBR tall boy’s to enjoy!!
About mid race breaks were starting to look a little more threatening and a significant group was dangling off the front. After a couple of laps the pack rejoined most of those that were off the front except for three powerful motors (McKinney, Frick, Frederick). The pack would never see them again as their lead grew with every lap. With the top 3 spots already decided the team got ready for the sprint for 4th. Cordova and Neto were well placed to contest the finale. Cordova barely missed winning the field sprint and grabbed the final podium spot for 5th. Neto finished 10th.
It was a great day of racing for all the guys, they had some lows (a few too many crashes involving team members and good friends) and some highs. That’s bike racing. Next week is All-American road race and Ft. Richie for most of the team.
The team would like to thank its sponsors for their generous support, without whom we wouldn’t be able to promote and enjoy the sport that we love. Please check out their great products/services: Bike Doctor, DigiSource Discovery Solutions, Elite Endurance Training Systems, Cannondale and CycleOps Power