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Lower Providence race report

posted Apr 22, 2013, 8:30 AM by Chris Burns
by Bryan Stottlemyer

One of my favorite movies, "Empire Records", has a quote in it that says, "Today was perfect. Well, almost perfect..." That's what I think about today's PA BAR race. Matt and I started the morning at the race pretty normally. We had our regular warm up session on the trainers, then headed to the line once the women's race was finished. We arrived in time to do one lap to look at the course, before the official started his spiel and blew the whistle. The course was WIDE OPEN, 4 corners, and flat! My kind of course! Matt and I had talked about our strategy earlier, and it was simple: Stay in the front half of the race, anytime we fall further than half way back...move up, and don't let any threatening groups get away.  Matt agreed to be the work horse, and I would try to do my normal sprint-for-the-line magic when it was time. I have to say, our plan was working beautifully for most of the race. Matt probably chased back 4 or 5 small gaps that opened (with me right on his wheel), I closed at least 2 of them down (AND led for about 3/4 of a lap), then we came back together with 4 laps to go, to try to start positioning for the finish. With 3 to go, I saw Matt look back at me, and then accelerate around the guy in front of him. It was time to start moving up.I stuck with him, but we got separated by 1 or 2 guys in the middle. At one point, a rider came from Matt's right and their wheels matched up. They wobbled a bit (and probably crapped their pants), but ultimately did a great job of staying upright. That is, until the 3rd guy hit them (presumably from behind). The last thing I saw before I had to focus back on what was in front of me, was Matt going over the front of the bars. I kept going...but I told myself that if I come back around and Matt didn't look well, I was going to pull the plug on my race and stay and help him. When I turned the corner and saw him (now with 2 laps to go), he was upright, with his bike slung over his shoulders, waving, pointing, and yelling at me to "GO!!!" And just like Forest Gump, "So I did".We came around and got the bell lap, which is usually when people lock in and get tunnel vision on their own goals. The bad part about that, is they forget there are more people around them, and usually cause issues. The good part about it is, they're not usually thinking about me sitting behind them, waiting to kick-sprint them to the line. On the second to last turn, People were absolutely flying! This is when I have no problem going into "T-1000" mode (as Heather would call it) and marking people to see who I think are threats, who's dangerous, and who doesn't matter. I made a move in the second to last turn that put me into 8th. I made almost the same move in the last turn and watched the 8 guys in front of me start their sprint. I immediately felt that I had a pretty good shot at out sprinting all the guys in this field. I sprinted about 200 meters from the line, which I felt was fair. I found myself out front quickly, and just continued to keep the pressure on the pedals all the way through the finish....where I let out a big yell...Cavendish style! And as luck would have it, Matt was walking around the corner just in time to see (and hear) my yell. As I passed him, I sat up and we both saluted our efforts with a quick point at each other. Yep...Today was perfect. Well, almost perfect...