Saturday, April 02, 2005

Virginia's Spring Classic

The Jefferson Cup is Tidewater’s anti-race. Local cyclists flock to this hilly race every year wondering on the one hand “who can possibly be in shape in March” and knowing on the other “plenty of people.” I assume race founder and director Ruth named the event after our third president, but the common images associated with Jefferson are “coldy, rainy, hilly, chilly, crashy, and just downright silly” as Kevin would say. It’s Virginia’s spring classic, a time to see what the competition has got. Tidewater's flatlanders like to claim there is little opportunity to train on hills, whereas the western crowd is quick to point out ice and snow that have kept them off the roads half the winter. Up the first hill it becomes clear who has done the miles, hit the gym and kept off the pounds. Everyone falls in behind the tanned racers in each peleton who obviously have been to Arizona recently.

Some happenings in the peleton:

Written by Kelle Ryan and Justin Samuel:

Did you see the Matrix? If so you will know what I’m talking about here. Just as we agreed on our new plan things went into Matrix time. Two bikes went down directly in front of us and caused the two beside and slightly behind them to go down as well. In ultra slow motion I saw and heard flesh slapping pavement at the same time there was metal bending and bike parts becoming airborne. Justin, I assume, went hard right. I considered a bunny hop for a nana second and then saw a possible hole developing to the left. At the same time I noticed a bike coming at me inverted and backwards.

This is the Matrix part. The wheel/bike was coming straight for my head in slow motion and as I ducked and made it through the developing hole time returned to normal. I looked back and saw that Justin had survived unscratched as well. After taking inventory and deciding that we where good to go we started our effort to get back in the break which was now gaining speed with every pedal stroke. In hind sight we probably should have just sprinted the gap and set in until we recovered. But we made the mistake of working with some people that we thought where victims of the pile up as it turns out these guys where being shelled off the back of the break because the speeds where climbing so high. Upon realizing this it was too late. We took the front and soon it was just Justin and me in no mans land. We never caught them and came across the finish; tails tucked, cold, alone, and ashamed. --Kelle Ryan and Justin Samuel

Written by Jeff Lawson:

The weather was quite chilly with drizzle most of the time. That made for some fun conditions with water flying up in your eyes for 2+ hours. As we came up the long uphill finishing straight I was barely able to pedal but made it to the front in an effort to lose as few spots as possible when the sprint started and I was left pushing my legs with my hands to the finish. With about 500 m to go the pack of 40 or so guys began to swarm by me and I saw Dan take off down the left side with Harlan in tow and Tim just behind him. Dan finally got swamped with about 30 yds to go. Harlan ended up 8th in the 40+ and 15th overall because it turns out there were 6 guys off the front despite everyone thinking we had reeled in the break. Tim and Dan were just behind Harlan and I limped in at the end of the field for about 30 or 40 some thingth place. --Jeff Lawson

Written by Ruth Stornetta:

Rain and drizzle didn't dampen the spirits of the 400+ racers who competed in this East Coast Spring Classic. Textbook teamwork by Team Snow Valley presented by Seal-On resulted in a solo win for neo pro Christoph Herby with teammate Kyle Walmsey taking 2nd. Perennial race winner Jennette Williams (HPC/List/Cardinal) made it a 3-peat in the Women's race although Andrea Dvorak (UVA Cycling) put up a stiff fight to finish.
--Ruth Stornetta

Notable Tidewater finishes:

Steve Simet (TBA) 1st
Men 50+

Bj Samuel (TriPower) 7th
Women’s Cat 4 sold out field

Harlan Ward (Atlantic Velo) 8th
Men 40+

Dan Denson (TriPower) 10th
Men 40+

Carol Ennser (TriPower) 12th
Women Cat 1-3

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