Monday, October 8, 2012

Henleyville Road Race 2012

The Schaupps Take the 2012 Henleyville Road Race by Storm
by John Schaupp

I did the Henleyville RR last weekend – 54 miles, three 18-mile laps. I thought my season was over about a month ago, but about a week prior to the race my son Matt decided he wanted to do the race working toward his Cat 1 upgrade. I figured since I was going anyway, I may as well race 55+ and I went back into training mode for a week.

It was a small turnout at the race. It is a relatively flat course with a few rollers in it. The first lap was relatively uneventful with a few attacks that were immediately covered. Just after the completion of the first lap there was a serious attack by a Chico Masters Cycling racer. He stayed off for a respectable amount of time and was then quickly joined by Tracy Muegge of Team Bicycles Plus Sierra. I didn’t know who he was, but I learned quickly.

Within about a half a lap, Tracey dropped the Chico rider. Behind there were 4 to 5 of us chasing with everyone else sitting in. We were very disorganized with several chasers doing minimal work. Tracy did an admirable job keeping a several-hundred meter gap solo for close to an entire lap. Tracy had a teammate, Douglas Gonda, happily chatting and generally teasing us as we had to chase while he got to sit in.

Finally we reeled Tracy in a few miles from the finish. Another racer surged from out of the pack. I had been feeling good, so I covered his attack. To my dismay I found both my quads cramping. I guess the heat (98 degrees) and intensity of the chase, combined with my lack of serious training for 3 out of 4 prior weeks got to me. Fortunately I had time to recover and spin my legs out. I stood up and stretched my hamstrings as best I could.

It was a narrow road with a centerline rule in effect. The start/finish line had tape just on half of the road. At the start we were warned by the officials if we did not run over the tape at the finish we would be disqualified. As such I decided to stay in the front for positioning even though I would have much rather slipped back to get a wheel. I got boxed in at Dunnigan earlier this year and did not want this happening again. I stayed to the right of the road so I only had to watch my left side. With just over 200 meters to go I saw the attack coming and jumped. Oh man, did that hurt.

It was Douglas playing the perfect scenario after his teammate gave his all. He got a great jump. I was only able to match him and hold my position. I mentally conceded 1st to Douglas and sat down. Suddenly fearing slipping to 3rd place, I stood up and started sprinting again. Jeeeze, Douglas had blown and I started to gain on him. He had totally blown. Unfortunately my hesitation cost me the race. I only needed 10 more feet to win, but ended up 2nd. Tracy, even after his solo performance, took 3rd. Next year! My son Matt also had a great race placing 3rd in the Pro, 1, 2. Good times!

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