Michael Schott (Marblehead) Cat 4/5

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Jacob
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Michael Schott (Marblehead) Cat 4/5

Post by Jacob »

This was a great race for the team! I had the pleasure of riding alongside ScottC, Nolan, Brad^2, and the WalrusRhino. Temps were seasonably chilly, no clouds in the sky, and the wind was reasonable. Best of all, the whole route was totally paved!

StephanStefan and I lined up at the front, the others rolled up later and were at the back. It didn't matter much though as Brad and Scott came barreling up the inside before we hit the first turn on the north side. They went ahead to do a two man breakaway, and then set the pace for another lap after they were caught. You gotta love the enthusiasm! Nolan pulled up around that time and we were all five in the first ten wheels for a while -- good TV time for the sponsors.

Roughly halfway through the race, I found myself on the front at the start of the climb before the finish line and I accidentally gapped the field on my way up. One guy bridged up to me, but I didn't really know what to make of the situation as I had no desire to be in a breakaway. After a drink and a breath, my companion surged ahead through the north turn. I was ready to sit up and wait, but that effort was enough to make me get on his wheel and go. So we have this gap and I keep turning around to look at this gap and to figure out what I want to do and whether or not to commit to this thing and I'm looking at the gap again and I turn back forward and I'm into the guy's back wheel way too close and our wheels gently embrace each other and whoops down I go onto my left side.

So I get up pretty quick and I'm not hurt. I look back and I still have that damn gap! I get on my bike and go -- still the gap! I should just stop going and wait for the field, but I'm so embarrassed about falling off my bike for no good reason that I power back up to my breakaway companion. We went down the hill to the stretch before the south turn that's exposed to the sea and is really windy -- the place were breakaways go to die. I start my pull and my rational mind finally asserts control and I sit up and wait.

Fast forward to about 3 laps to go and Brad gets into a four man break. He's already exceeded all expectations by staying in the front of the field and now this! The guy doesn't ride his bike that much but an athlete is an athlete. This is great for the team, obviously; there's not much race left and everyone else is starting to get really nervous. Thanks to this, StephanStefan and I were able to get into excellent position on the second half of the final lap.

Brad had come back to the field, but there were still three up the road by maybe 20 seconds. StephanStefan surges forward and gets a gap, someone bridges and I cover that and the field regroups. I yelled toStephanStefan, "I'm on your wheel" and he just threw down the hammer on it. We go in that fashion down the hill into the windy section and the break is now within about 20 meters. The south turn (almost a hairpin) is in sight. This is way earlier that I was planning to attack, but my gut instinct had by that point reasserted control so I went then.

I bridged up to the break and immediately counterattacked it through the turn and went solo from there. I got down the road, up and over the climb with a gap, but I got picked up about 50 meters from the line by the winner, who rolled right past on the right side. I had no answer to that, but there was enough time to think about second place and its merits before two others rolled past on the left just before the finish. I got fourth. I have no effort regrets, but it would be fun to see what would have happened if I had gone from the bottom of the climb like I had planned.

All the MRC guys were in the mix today -- a great team race! I'm jazzed for next weekend.
Last edited by Jacob on Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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pace21
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Re: Michael Schott (Marblehead) Cat 4/5

Post by pace21 »

Nicely done! Sounds like the novel "A Tale of Two Days" when reading the reports from Saturday and Sunday. I'm dying to hear how STEFAN :) did although it sounds like he took one for the team (surprise, surprise).

Jacob could you hear Paul Sherwin's voice?: "that looks like a rider who's touched a wheel!". You have to say it in a British accent for best effect....
swawersik
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Re: Michael Schott (Marblehead) Cat 4/5

Post by swawersik »

I think I regret joking that I sprint like a walrus...

Maybe rhino is a better animal to describe it. Basically, I need a long hard sprint that'll wear the punchy guys out. So Jacob and I had planned that I might try an longish attack which would either get a gap for me or serve as a leadout of sorts for him. So that was the idea...

Jacob's already described most of the race: Scott and Brad were all over the front, pulling things back and controlling the race. Brad maybe did a little too much work, but given that this was his first non-Wells race ever, I give him HUGE credit for the effort he put in.

Jacob's "breakaway" was actually kind of hilarious. First, once the second guy crossed to him, the two of them rode side by side for about 1K, then I hear a collective gasp from the front 3-4 riders and look up to see Jacob climbing back onto his bike, then they dangled out front for a while until the wind brought them back.

So the finish: once Brad fell out of the break and the remaining three got a healthy gap (I heard 20 seconds at the turn after the finish straight on the last lap), it seemed like some people started settling in for a bunch sprint for 4th. I saw a Community Bicycle (I think?) guy go up the left side with a sense of purpose, so I hopped on his wheel then followed as he attacked to "bridge." I put that word in quotes because, while I applaud the initiative, he imploded almost immediately. I put in a short effort, but saw that I was closed down pretty quickly. And now I was on the front, leaving me with a choice: sit up and gamble that the break wouldn't stay away or bring things back together in hopes that Jacob could deliver. I chose option 2, and buried myself on the front to bring those bastards back.

When the gap was about 1-2 bike lengths, Jacob came flying past me, went straight through the break, and off the front. He was still away going over the top of the hill, and I thought he had a pretty good chance of hanging on. I tried to put in a half-hearted sprint myself, but was wrecked at that point. But I was close enough to see a rider in dark kit cross the line first or second - only to see a second later that he had fluo shoe covers, suggesting that the Tufts rider won.

Still, 4th for the team is a great start (especially on the heels of Busick's podium yesterday). And more importantly, we raced as a team and managed to (more or less) execute a plan. Nice job guys.
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Jacob
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Re: Michael Schott (Marblehead) Cat 4/5

Post by Jacob »

It wasn't so much "touched a wheel" as "attempted to construct a tandem bicycle out of two single-person bicycles in the middle of a race"
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cbusick
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Re: Michael Schott (Marblehead) Cat 4/5

Post by cbusick »

Nice job guys!
-Chris Busick
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pace21
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Re: Michael Schott (Marblehead) Cat 4/5

Post by pace21 »

Had to do it... Googled "how fast can a rhino sprint?" and found this gem:

"Despite its ungainly appearance a rhino can run as fast as 45 miles per hour, but it cannot sustain such a high speed for long distances."

That should annihilate a cat 4 (and 3, and 2, and 1) field sprint.
BTurner
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Re: Michael Schott (Marblehead) Cat 4/5

Post by BTurner »

Beautiful!
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ahamilton
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Re: Michael Schott (Marblehead) Cat 4/5

Post by ahamilton »

Sounds like a great MRC showing. Nice reports too.
scottc
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Re: Michael Schott (Marblehead) Cat 4/5

Post by scottc »

First road race flying the MRC kit (and since 2012), so my goals where to get back into the grove of pack riding and work towards getting our money men onto the podium. Came into the race with no taper and no form, so secondary goal was to get in a killer workout.

Brad and myself pushed the pace on the early laps of the race. Riding solo into the stiff, salty sea breeze on the back stretch of the course is quite taxing and the primary reason of any failed solo breaks. Probably why the peloton didn't seem to really mind anyone going off the front. Brad stayed right up there in the front for most of the race almost seemed to thrive in the wind. Mid-way through the race I found myself in a small chase with a tall skinny guy who pulled most of the way. Once we bridged up to the lone rider, I pulled a bit longer then flicked my elbow and nobody pulled through. Looked back and the pack was right there so I sat up and rested. Nolan did a good job surfing wheels, staying well positioned for most of the race. I was frequently checking in with Stefan and Jacob to insure they were feeling good, which they were. So the plan of keeping them protected and fresh was playing out nicely. The speed of the race varied a lot, but rapidly accelerated with one to go. Brad got into a nice break but he couldn't hold onto those lead wheels. Jacob and Stefan were up where they needed to be and Nolan was riding mid field with me. The pace up the longest rise was fast enough to string out the herd enough to open up room on the inside for me to advance about 15 wheels, then another 10 more on the windy section. I missed the front rounding the hairpin, but took a very aggressive line and gunned it upon exiting the apex. I made up more positions on the steep rise just before the finish, which is where I caught Stefan and we rolled across the finish line together.

What could I have done differently? Stay at the front BEFORE the last lap. Maybe do a bit less work, but that was part of my job this go.

Looking forward to racing Myles Standish next weekend.
Last edited by scottc on Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
swawersik
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Re: Michael Schott (Marblehead) Cat 4/5

Post by swawersik »

pace21 wrote:"Despite its ungainly appearance a rhino can run as fast as 45 miles per hour, but it cannot sustain such a high speed for long distances."
If your helmet cam video is any indication, there are other similarities...
rhino.jpg
rhino.jpg (7.42 KiB) Viewed 9873 times
Bradford
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Re: Michael Schott (Marblehead) Cat 4/5

Post by Bradford »

This was a great experience - lots of fun and awesome to be working as a team. Thanks to Scott, Stefan, Jacob and Nolan for all the coaching week prior, warm up and direction during the race - very beneficial to a green racer.
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pace21
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Re: Michael Schott (Marblehead) Cat 4/5

Post by pace21 »

The camera adds 10 pounds.
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jraguin
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Re: Michael Schott (Marblehead) Cat 4/5

Post by jraguin »

Awesome guys! Just great.
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rusto
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Re: Michael Schott (Marblehead) Cat 4/5

Post by rusto »

pace21 wrote:The camera adds 10 pounds.
This whole thread has me seriously wondering if I can add the ability to "like" individual posts in the forum...
- Russ, MRC webmaster

#DONTRIDETHATRUSS
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