ah ... the Wente critters.
With the mini-geezer and then prosey races close together and a lot of the same big wheels in both ... the two events sorta blurred together some. The prosey circles had some good hits in it and the battles were a fair bit fierce for all the primes, but ... the geezer race had a hair more drama to it, in my opinion.
In the geezer race, there really were some breaks up the road that had potential to stick and commitment amongst 'em to run full gas. It took a lot of lungered efforts out of the pack from teams not represented to shut that shit down ... which was kind of cool to see. In the prosey race, there were only a handful of moments when it looked like there would be anything but a field gallop to end the show. Which is fine ~ for the muscle-pudge sprinter boys ... but, kind of boring for us of the bomber mentality.
Anyway, the CalGiants took over in the final few laps of the prosey race. They really only had about 4 guys working the leadout. Not enough ~ and General Briggs knew it. He kept the pace reasonable and must have had a lot of confidence that the field would defer to their colors and not push past them. For the most part, it worked. But, since the pace was only modestly quick, the swarms and shoves behind the Strawberry chain were fierce and slobbery. I tried to convince junkadonk that an attack was as good as a leadout to his team, but he probably thought i was fukkin with his head. again.
But, as we all know ~ the goal of them leadouts is to keep the speed high ... and thus safer and easier for your sprinter(s) to hold position. Now, if you've got the numbers and raw meat to sit at the front and Cipo that shit into submission - well, bully for you and line those buggers up to the front to slay they-selves right and proper. But, if you're a team that's short handed but has a few prize-fighters in the mix, shooting those boys off the front in the last few laps is a damn good way to force other teams to burn themselves in chase ... keeping the speeds high and taking away some of their horsepower in the process.
From laps 5 to 3 it was twitchy and swooshy in that prosey pack. It seems everybody is a field sprinter, nowadays. Since the pace was only moderate, it was too easy for riders to move up and fight for position. But, all being field sprinters, none wanted to taste the wind the Strawberry boys were more than willing to gnaw on - even if slowly like the cud.
With 1.5 to go, I went on the warpath and pooched a few meters off the front. My BagBoys, Taz and MikeMa, looked comfortable in the front of the pack and i figured it was as good a time as any to take a nose wheelie out of the fold. There were quite a few benefits in my mind:
- who knows, maybe a couple fools would join up with me and do the Alamo death dance for a few pedalstrokes - you gotta suffer at some point, why not do it when there's a chance for glory, eh?
- make it fast, yo ~ at least try and up that tempo to keep my boys safe in their positions near the front. and, who knows ... maybe a few more of those burlies will lose some gas as they have to chase. ... screw 'em and their wattage cottage thighs.
'sides, it's good training.
- safer for yours truly ~ uh huh ... i didn't want none o' that field sprint. off the front, or off the back is the only place i'll be in a Wente field sprint. my health insurance is good, but it ain't that good.
me and Pasco had agreed that it was attack 'dat for our appetites - staying out of the troubles.
Well, nobody wanted to come play with me so it was a handful of "suffer you dawg" notes screeched on the violin for me. But, at least i got a good chuckle out of it on two accounts ~
first-like, General Briggs shouts out to his boys in full commando bellow, "ignore that shit" as i poofed away from the pack. That's right beeyotch, keep a tight leash on them boys cuz i'm gonna be throwin' you into disarray all season long.
And second-fiddle, seeing calves mc'Hooptie twisting himself inside-out on the headwind straight to chase my feeble ass down. Yeah, baby! Come get some of it. Personally, i'da had him wait and let the Giants waste energy into the winds and then whip around 'em once the tailwind lashes hit stinging on the backside ... but hey, it was beautiful to see that som'bitch finally out there suffering on it.
If i'da lasted to the tailwinds, i'd committed to keeping on the gas and entering full sufferhood for the rest of the lap. But, since Hooptie had brought the boys up to my backside right at the end of the headwind shuffle, i thankfully sat up and turned it to get a bird's eye of the last ditch.
Taz was beautifully positioned in the top 10 as he pushed through the final 300m. He'd really done a great job on keeping his hold on it as the CalGiant's started their leadout proper. Them Berries were pretty textbook from 900m on. Still, they left the sprint long for their man Vigus and I thought for sure DHolla had been able to swing past him to snatch it at the line. But, Vigus knows how to throw his bike, too ~ and it was his to take home for the bragging rights.
Taz ended up a solid 7th after he did just a hair of the hesitation and didn't jump when his instincts pinched him to. He was kicking himself all frustrated behind our beers afterwards and i had to remind him, "brother ... how many of them field sprints have you been witness to? This is their game, yo. We're just spectators on the dime. But, don't forget the lesson learned. We just might make that call again."