Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mississippi Mills Grand Prix: Plan, Execute, Win?

Things are hotting up as we approach the Ride of the Damned on the 23rd, and Champlain's Folly on July 14th. For those who don't know, I am part of the organizing team for the Folly. I hope you all will join us for both events! But this post is about dorky racing. 

Have you ever seen these crazy videos? Our team emailed them around a couple years ago and agreed we never wanted to be like these dudes. Ok, sure, it would be fine to be good at bike racing, but the attitude part; no thanks. However, despite the obnoxious exterior, there are some valuable nuggets embedded in the morass of ridiculous content in this series of videos. The 'concept' we tend to return to time and again, if more than somewhat ironically, is 'Plan, Execute, Win.' To date, we've done a lot of planning and executing, but not a whole lot of winning. This should not be a surprise, as the majority of others we race agains are also planning and executing. We can't all win. Some clearly neither plan, nor execute. I'm not sure what that's all about.

For the Mississippi Mills Grand Prix, from Pakenham, Ontario, the plan was simple: attack, attack, attack, try to win. Out of a field of about 100 riders in the Open A race, we were four: Alex Michel, Iain Radford, Mike Abraham, and yours truly, Surch & Rescue/Destroy. The course was 42k, two laps. Mildly rolling, with about 5km of dirt road, it would be tricky to break up the peloton. 

Execute. The fun is in trying. That is how it went down, in machine gun format:

Big field. Men, women, boys.
"Let's attack on the gravel, force a split."
I want to go now! No, wait.
Gravel approaches; where are my guys?
It's planned: attack.
45kph...frigg, still alone...and still...
Caught, counter.
And so on: catch counter; rinse, lather, repeat.
Carbon flying...ugh...
We're ok, rinse, lather, repeat.
Lap 2
Alex: "we have to attack before the gravel, then counter. I will go first."
Matt: "Ok, I'll counter."
Execute. Fairly feeble counter.
Iain goes; perfect.
Two companions, into the gravel. 
Gap, holding; yes! 
I don't have to work.
Some guy 15 feet away: "Hey asshole!"
Who? What?
Me: "Who's the asshole? Can I be the asshole?"
Peloton: "Haha."
Alex is following attempts to bridge while I sit in.
Carbon flying, female shriek. Ugh.
Gap is 30s. Yes! 
More sitting in while Alex is vigilant.
Mike is up there, he has done as asked, chased and countered, earlier. Up front and watching.
Gap is 40s. Yes! 
No organization, they will not pull Iain back.
We will sprint for 4th place 'glory.'
Be careful, position for the sprint, like on TV/the Internet.
3k to go.
Moving up, Alex is ready. 
500m to go.
Right up, aggressive. Just like the PROs!
Time to get gnarly.
90 degree turn into the final. Totally aggro.
Can't get all the way out, have to lean hard.
Drift both wheels. Holy f#ck.
Accelerate 'hard.' Alex on the right.
Two dudes, can't pass, not enough powa!
That's it. Third in the bunch, for 6th, Alex 4th for 7th.
Did Iain win?
2nd. Nipped by a junior.
A strong one.

2013 Mississippi Grand Prix Open A Race Podium
1) Miles Eastman 2) Iain Radford 3) Connor Byway

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