Last Saturday, Pierce and Andrew travelled up to Gap, PA to take part in the Salisbury Road Race 3/4 field. Uncertain, troubling weather in the forecast for Morgantown, Harwood cancelled, Gap seemed to be where it was at for MABRA roadies. The 3/4 field alone had over 90 entrants. The race would be a hair over 30 miles long in easily rolling Amish country. With the centerline rule in effect, the race promised to be interesting.
And it was. Moving around within the peloton was difficult at best, thanks to the cramped space it was working with. The chasing moto-ref would routinely pull up alongside the field to chastise somebody for breaking rank and hanging out on the wrong side of the yellow wall. The shoulder side was generally just as prohibitive, pavement ending abrubtly (and slickened by horse droppings from buggies that covered the countryside). Local racers, dealing with similar conditions week after week, showcased their honed skills while the rest of the field struggled.
Attempts to ride away from the field came and went over the course of the race, but the distance and terrain proved too tame to shatter the field or discourage chasing. Ultimately, an 11th hour attack made a good solo ride to claim the victory. The in-tact peloton would follow to deliver a messy sprint and sweep up the remaining spaces.
There’s no sense in pointing fingers or griping about what happened. Suffice it to say, the sprint was messy and a bit of a lottery. What seemed to be a good setup for a strong position was a wake of closed-doors and limited real estate. When the smoke cleared, Andrew was marked down for 13th place and Pierce landed 17th. If that’s what racing up in the country works out like, we’ve got some learning to do.
Another race in the books, and another safe day on the road. While there was nothing to write home about, you can’t expect to go out and deliver the goods every day.
The Bike Lane Team will take a short hiatus from road racing as The Bakers Dozen will capture the attention this weekend. Expect to see everybody chomping at the bit to redeem themselves in Chantilly on the 16th.