Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bazaar RR

I've been in Kansas for a couple of years now but have never made it to the Bazaar RR. I've heard lots of wild stories of agricultural burns, motorcycle rallies, people being hit by cars, and of course, WIND.

This years edition of the race did not disappoint on the wind front. 28-35mph with 45+mph gusts from the SSW made for an interesting day. There were about 27 guys in the 1/2/3 race, but only nine or ten 1/2's, so I had an idea of who to watch. We headed out pretty slowly into the wind and there were some solo attacks into the wind that didn't mean much. I thought that making a move shortly before the turnaround might be the way to go, and tried one move with Rob Bell of Team Undiscovered thinking that his 6 teammates would shut things down behind us. That worked for a few minutes, but everyone wanted to get into our move, so we got brought back. A few miles up the road there was a hard crosswind section where Jay Blankenship of Tulsa Tough went to the front and drove the pace causing a split. I saw it coming but was hiding near the back, so I had to make a bit of an effort to bridge up. Right as I got on it turned back into the headwind and Kyle Skinner pulled off the front hard and almost took out my front wheel. I ricocheted my wheel off his quick release, but kept everything in good shape and went to the front and drove the pace a bit more to establish the split, right ahead was the cone showing the turnaround and we went through it as a group of about 8 or so and had the bit tailwind to push us the other direction. Back into the crosswind Kent drove the pace again splitting our selection down to 5. At that point, Rob Bell decided to sit on because he had a teammate chasing our group. With the tailwind, it was hard to do anything but just go as fast as possible, so 4 of us rotated pretty well all the way past the start area. After that the course gets a little more interesting as there is a climb, descent, the other turnaround, then climb back to the finish. Jay turned the screws up the climb dropping Jeremy from Undiscovered, but not unlatching Rob. By the time we got to the base of the climb, Jeremy had caught back on using his gravitational advantage and we turned back into the wind for the final climb. We were going pretty slow, but I wasn't feeling very well, so I skipped a few pulls and hoped that Rob would go early and I could catch on. Instead, we all sat in for a very slow sprint. Kent opened it up and tried to gutter everyone against the centerline. Jay was on his wheel on the line, and Rob was well over the line. I had nothing and didn't want to go all the way across the road to get a draft, so I just sat up for 4th.

Behind Brian got the group sprint for 6th and Justin avoided the crashes behind that and rolled in safely as well. Then we got to sit around for almost 2 hours while they figured out results and finally payed out.


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