Sunday, May 23, 2010

I ended up driving down to Frankfort by myself (actually had a good time and enjoyed the drive) for my 11am start. The course was a classic four corner crit, composing of 2 longer straightaway's with 2 shorter side streets. The road surface was "okay" but not great - I thought my tires were going to come unglued on some of the rough spots on the corners. The course was less than 1 mile in length and positioning was key. There was a sweeping left turn onto some cobles that was the back half of a "around about", leading into the finish line. Interesting thing was that as soon as you came out of the last turn, the finish line was less the 100 meters away. We had a field of about 36 start. Lots of attacks by the host team McDonald's, as well as Bike Clicks. Steve Fine from Team Dayton was there, along with two other guys from Greater Cin. The pace stayed pretty hot for most of the race and was single file through most of the turns. Felt pretty good and was able to respond well to surges and attacks. I got lucky early on by making a move to the front just as a series of attacks and counter attacks kept the pace extremely high for about 3 laps (if you look at the garmin, this is was the first of two times my heart rate spiked into the 180's). I was able to stay in the draft and near the front during this brief surge and didn't burn too many matches. I think my race would have turned out a little different otherwise - I remember looking back once and it was pretty strung out with guys working hard to pull it back together. With 4 laps to go, things got pretty hairy with everyone trying to get to the front. I fought like hell to hold onto my placing. There were a couple of attacks that we'd pull in and then with 2 to go, this dude made a sweet move and got a really good jump on the whole field that no one wanted anything to do with. He managed to stay away and deservedly took 1st place. Coming into the last lap and racing for second, the field swelled to about 6 wide with one or two guys dangling off the front. I was in a good spot when two guys from Scheller's Fitness & Cycling made the jump coming into the first turn of the last lap, easily taking the lead. I saw the move and jumped onto their wheel and went with them. I remember the guy in front of me screaming at his lead out man to "go-go-go!" And boy did he listen: great lead-out. I stayed on this wheel until we came through the cobles and out of the last turn and sprinted my arse off - four guys came around me (because I can't sprint) but managed to hold off the others for an 8th place finish. Needless to stay, I'm pretty stoked! However a little bittersweet - If I was a better sprinter, I maybe could've held onto a fourth or fifth place easily. Oh well.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bond Road Race Cat 3 Report

Bond Road lived up to all my expectations:
1. It's going to be hard
2. Seven times up that hill is going to suck
3. I will cramp before the finish

It was hard. One of, if not, the hardest road races I've done. It started the very first time up the hill. The 3's were combined with the 1/2/3's again so this made it really exciting. The spanish mountain goats blasted up the hill and had the entire field strung out immediately. I was somewhere in the middle when we started the climb and had to dig real deep to stay on a wheel that was still attached to the guys in front. I think the field split in half at that point but came back together after the descent a few miles later. The next time up the hill, another selection was made and I was feeling pretty good to be in it, along with Chris Anderson. The next time up the climb, the big boys got tired of the child's play and took off. Bye, Bye. A group of 8 or 10 of us decided we liked our own pace better and rolled on our own, content to still be out in front of the rest of the field. Things were going OK during the next couple laps, then with 3 laps to go the cramps had set in on the climb and I couldn't keep the pace. I yelled to Chris that I was out, and proceeded to race that 2nd to last lap solo. On the bell lap, another chase group swallowed me up and I integrated with them rotating through. This wasn't too bad as it was during the downhill and the flats leading up to the climb. When we hit the final climb, I stayed left and waved the others by, knowing I'd be keeping it slow to prevent a complete lock-up of the legs. I nursed it up the climb and managed to cross the line. That Sucked! But in a good way ;) Just checked the results and looks like I finished 13th. I'll take it. See you at Ault Park.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


The Georgetown road race (#6 of the Series) was not only my first road race win but also my first race as a member of the Darkhorse Racing team! The excitement of winning was an awesome feeling, so much so that I stopped short of the finish line (half disoriented from the extreme effort of my breakaway) and walked my bike across the finish line. I must say it kind of takes some of the luster of the win away when you get reamed by the race director for being a potential hazard for the sprint finish that came about 15 seconds later, but oh well.

That being said here is a general overview of the race:
It raining all day but the temp was very comfortable and the course was not was curve filled as advertised so the wet roads weren't that dangerous. The Cat fours started with 17 and ended with 9 and all 9 rode alone together the last 2 of the 4 twelve mile loops. One descent followed by a nice curve, where at least two racers whiped out (Dan says someone in his race even nailed a road sign) followed by a little climb was the only signifacnt elevation change during the race.

Alex and I talked a little strategy during the race about the right location to make a move towards the last half mile but I noticed that any time some one flew out in front of the pack it would take quite a while for the pack to get a chase organized so that was the big clue that a break away could hold to win the race.

With about 1.5 miles left in the race I decided to make a move at a location I had pinpointed earlier as being ideal. The attack came just after a sharp 120 degree turn where I coasted through at the front with the hope of sneaking down the dip in the road following by a short incline. The plan worked and I was out in front before most noticed the move and then I just kept hammering away, I briefly went off the road while turning onto a new road, then I'm sure I lost a little ground during the last half mile but I just cruised to about 10 feet short of the line and trotted the rest of the way (accidentally).

From there is was all jokes about my bonehead finish which I'm sure Lance and Alex will never let me live down. Overall the races and group rides with darkhorses have made cycling even more fun and fulfilling than ever before. I'm looking forward to riding, racing, and jumping up categories to help bring even more noteriety to the Darkhorse team than we already have earned! Thanks for making me part of the team!

-Dave Minner

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vandervoort's Corner Road Race Cat 3 Report

First real race of the season for me since I can't count Hueston's mechanical issue last week as a race. Brett and I lined up for the 56 mile journey. Things started pretty tame and actually stayed pretty tame throughout the race. A couple of mini breaks went up the road but were eventually reeled in. I tried to get into a couple of them, but with no success. Finally with maybe 2 laps to go, two guys went off the front and had a pretty good gap. Then, somehow, one of them was caught but the other found his way in front of the pace car. I don't think a lot of guys realized this, even after stating to them that he was out there. Anyway, long story short, the last lap got ramped up thanks to Dayton and Abundance. With a couple miles to go, I found myself way too far back in the pack and decided I needed to get to the front. Got their pretty quickly. Looked around to see who to follow and didn't recognize anyone familiar. Just as we swallowed up the lone guy off the front, I went left of center on the road (legal for the finish) and took off with 200 meters to go and was able to hold it to the line. Yes, I won! Felt great, no cramps, perfect. Big thanks to Chris Muse for coming out to photograph us. Props to Brett for finishing 10th!!