28 March 2005

Race Report: Metro Series, Central Park, 27 March 05

More Top 10 Finishes--Purdue 7th, Breed 8th

Submitted by Eric Faber

Well, gentleman, my fifth race of the year was the first "actual race"
from start to finish. OUCH! The pace started at the entrance to the
downhill toward the Lasker rink when a red-haired dude named
Danny jetted by me after my perfunctory starting pull up at the front.
Side note: I bumped into Danny last week after last Sunday's race on
the bike path. I found out that he was 2nd in the U.S. Under 23s in
1991, and the next year missed the cut for the Olypmic team and sort of
dropped off from there out of his admitted petulant
frustration. He's getting back into it, obviously. Danny forced the
whole pack to the fastest I have ever gone down and around Lasker and
up Harlem Hill. In fact, I immediately felt my right thigh cramping.

So as soon as Danny got near the top of Harlem Hill, the star of the Miya Shioji team, Euri Madera, was gone!...poof! ..disappeared!! That guy Elijah and the big guy on the Green Cannondale (Marcus) spoke up on the west side on the first
lap and ordered us to line it up to a double paceline and work
together or we were gonna lose this guy. So for the next 5 miles we
all hauled ass until we caught sight of our prey, who finally gave it
up where he first poured it on...Harlem Hill.

We took a relative breather until the first roller at 105th St. Here
is where the order that was present before just disappeared, and in
its place came tension and mistrust. We all seemed to be grouped four
across and front wheels and back wheels were getting too close to
each other. I was doing my very best to find a slot and caught one only
to hear it from Elijah that I wasn't holding the line. In the
heat of battle I wasn’t in the mood to be talked at, so defensively
spit out that " I was on my F%^%& line" and what was he “gonna do...go
through me?!!!". I admit I could have been calmer, but the pace and the
very real tension of imminent disaster made me let off some
steam. Things didn't change much and I decided I needed some breathing
room, so I shot off the front just so I didn't have to feel hemmed
in by a bunch of ankles and elbows.

As soon as I took off, I put a scare into the field and a couple of
sprinters shot off like catapults past me before the lake. Man, they
were fast!!!! I feared that I had opened a Pandora’s box and now it
was gonna be a full sprint from Tavern on the Green to Cat's Paw!!!
Well, luckily the sprinters up front slowed down and let themselves be
swallowed up again. Next thing I know there we were...me, Matt P.,
Craig and Patrick are at the front four across at Sheepmeadow!
Patrick pulled up to the front and I slid in behind thinking, well we
might as well follow the plan we had talked about the night
before...be at the front at Tavern and do 10-second pulls. The
problem was that unbeknownst to Patrick and me, Matt and Craig were boxed in by the pack! So...Patrick and I flapped in the wind until we did
the turn at Horse Shit Alley where we were swallowed up. It was
there that I noticed just how anaerobic I was and was praying for a
breather. I got my wind back in the pack and mentally prepared my
checklist for the final sprint. Stay close and stay in my seat until
I'm seeing the finish straight ahead after the righthand curve. Good idea,
except when you've got guys on Miya Shioji and Marcus getting off the saddle and blowing by everyone early at the hill. Miya Shioji placed
first and Marcus second. Echelon finished with Matt 7th, Craig 8th, followed directly by Patrick. I think I finished 10th or 11th out of 20 or so.

Here's the tale of the computer readout: first lap--15:36; second lap—15:34 for a total of 31:10. 23.3 mph average speed. Quite amazing pace since I clocked last Sunday’s 2-lapper at 33:O5. Wow. Knocked off 1:55
this week!!

Rob Metcalf was there with his camera and he took some photos of the
four of us in our CRCA jerseys and took some pics of the race. Looking
forward to checking them out.


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