Monday, January 26, 2009

First weekend racing for the ADOBO Velo Racing Team

January 24-25,2009

First weekend racing for the ADOBO Velo Racing Team is now in our history books. It was very competitive and everyone had a great time. Saturday was an Omnium at ADT Event Center where I raced Master's 45+ Division in the morning and Wilson Blas in the Cat 3 Division later in the afternoon. Then Sunday was Criterium racing in Long Beach for Deo Asuncion, Al Villamil, Ike Carbajal, and Wilson Blas.

Saturday early morning… I thought I arrived early to get settled in but was surprised to see the parking lot almost full and the rear access to the track blocked! Found out that the main infield was being used for junior volleyball competition and the games started before I arrived at 7:15am. Race registration didn't start till 7:30 and the track will not open until 8 o'clock! By not being able to drive to the rear entrance and unload all my gear, this meant I just have to park the van and haul all my gear down! At least the track was still closed that it gave me a shorter trek to the infield from the front entrance but in 2 trips. No worries, this ordeal was still manageable. My races were Miss N'Out, then a 30-lap Points Race, and lastly a 20-lap Scratch Race. The way I thought of the first race the day before played out as planned as I hate to fight for position at the back each lap as there were 15 other tracksters competing. So here we are finally in the race, I treated the neutral lap to position myself to take the lead when race starts, and it worked! I paced the group for 10 laps as the others were trying to intimidate me to go faster and being the Good Samaritan to protect my back. Well, that really meant "burn yourself out so we can out-sprint you later" kind'a deal! I'm glad I sticked to my plan but I totally forgot to keep track of the riders left as the laps go by. Down to 4, they overtook me and were sprinting side by side which left me no room to move up! That meant I got eliminated the next lap. It was ok with me since those 3 were respectable Cat 2 competitors and not to mention my best Miss N'Out finish ever! The next race was the 30-lap Points Race with 5, 3, 2, and 1 points given every 10 laps for the top 4. This time I concentrated on positioning to sprint for the first bell lap and just get a respectable finish when this race is over.The first 10 laps were tight and we were getting mixed until it was down to 21 laps for the first bell. I was trapped inside behind the lead but for some mindless reason, this dude in front of me moved to this right with half a lap to go, like a teammate but not! That created a surprise opening for me and blocked everyone else! What a given opportunity! Needles to say, I took the first bell lap with about 5 bike lengths of sprinting before climbing up the banking to rejoin the group! That's 5 points in the bag! The pace slowed down and we were all packed again. This time someone broke away with a few more laps before the bell and I just sat in conserving and just finishing strong. I lost count of how many were in front and how many were behind me. When the results were posted, I stayed 4th overall withone more race to go. This time I was tired and in pain! At least there was enough time to rest between races that I did easy spins on rollers and sipped on Gatorade. Got back to the track for the 20-lap scratch race, the last race and I still wasn't sure what I wanted to do! As the race went on, I later found myself taking the turn to pull the group with loner breaking away the lap prior. With 15 laps to go and 14 riders behind me, I made my calculation if it's better to catch the breakaway while he is still about a third of a lap away, or might end up at the back and miss my chance to move up when the paceline gets broken thinking 15 laps will get brutal really quick. I wasn't sure if I made the right decision but I went for the break with just one rider following me. 12 riders stayed intact. We caught the loner the next lap and continued on with the breakaway taking short half-lap pulls. We managed to create a half lap lead but we were eventually caught with 2 laps to go! Bummer! As I was weakening, I poured all my strength to the finish knowing that the pain will be over in less than a minute and as even if some riders were passing me till the end. Not sure how I placed but I still got kudos from the officials, friends, and the people who knew me. Overall, I dropped from 4th place to 5th out of 14 others. Not too pleased about it but was really thrilled having the chance to cause havoc and dominate the field. The nicest thing about this event was with all the moves I did, i.e. pacing the group during the MissN'Out, sprinting for the first bell-lap during the Points Race, and the time I was on a break-away on the Scratch Race, it made the announcer mention "ADOBO Velo" a few times. I actually think it was about 20 times but I might be exaggerating. It really felt we made a statement and as it was another beginning for the club. I also knew that there's got to be a Pinoy in the crowd watching their daughters at the volleyball games that also watched me race. I think we got the word out a bit just by that. Thanks to Egay, Arnold, Dennis, El,and Gil for the words of encouragement. This made me feel that we are all together on our new quest!

Later that afternoon, it was Wilson's turn to compete. Unfortunately, I left for home for a nightout with the family. Wilson was registered to race the tough Category 1/2/3 Division but the Category 3 was later separated because of the large number of competitors and there were 5 of them. Thanks to our friend Gil for letting him try his disk wheel. I was not able to get enough details of his Omnium today (Sunday) because he was also racing 2 Criterium races. What an animal! He thinks he finished 3rd overall as we will just wait until the results gets posted online. He had some bruises too! That meant he was involved in a crash. With his outstanding finish, I'm also thinking that the announcer also mentioned our club a few times! That's a whole day for him to say ADOBO Velo! Congratulations Wilson!

Today, was another day for the ADOBO Velo Racing Team: This time itwas Criterium Racing! The cast: Dwight 'Ike' Carbajal racing Masters 40+ Cat 1/2/3 and the Masters 50+ Crits. Astig Wilson Blas racing 30+ Cat 3/4 and 30+ Cat 1,2,3 Crits. Astig Deograves Asuncion and Al Villamil raced Category 3. Egay, Agimat, Lanier, Jeffrey, Lito, and Albert where there to see them race. Our friends Gil and Henry were there too! Ike was not able to finish his 2nd race because of a flat. Wilson, Deo, and Al duked it out and finished with the peloton. There was a moment that made the day when the Cat 3 race started, Deo was pacing the pack for 2 laps while Al was at the back. We had the WHOLE peloton in check! After that, it was time for serious business. Awesome job by our competitors!

Next on the schedule:
Jan 30 - Training Race at ADT Velodrome
Feb 7 - LAVRA Omnium Series at ADT Velodrome
Feb 8 - another CBR Crit but at Dominguez Hills


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