15 March 2005

Race Report: Metro Series, Prospect Park, 13 March 05

Submitted by Eric Faber

Team Echelon riders: Eric, Joe, Matt P. and Chris

Crash 1
Things started out smoothly until going up the hill for the third time when a rider on the outside clearly was having gearing difficulties and clipped out accidentally and slowed precipitously enough to get the rider behind him (a thin Hispanic kid maybe 16 y.o.) with nowhere to go, the wheels met and the kid went down with his head about 2 feet away from my front wheel (no exaggeration). No Echelon involved.

Crash 2
Fourth lap on the west side heading south and picking up speed when a FOUNDATION RIDER touched wheels with the rider in front of him who was apparently (according to the Foundation rider) drifting into him. Joe and Matt P. were up about 3 or 4 bike lengths in front of Chris and I was with the 2 riders who caused the crash, in between. Here's what I heard and saw... I heard a nasty wrenching sound like metal being stripped and the Foundation rider (on my front left) now perpendicular to the approaching riders behind including Chris and me. Chris took the brunt of the impact, hitting the Foundation guy straight on and then flying over his bars with his bike not far behind him. I veered as far to the right as I could and for a split second thought I had passed the danger zone when something clipped me. Either the Foundation bike or Chris', but I glided easily over the curb and slid like silk into the soft leaves and dirt.

I stood up immediately and felt fine. I checked the chain and looked back to see Chris standing and yelling loudly....FUUUCCCK!!!. I figured he was ok and I got on the bike trying to catch the field. Didn't happen. I decided to finish the race for the exercise. As I was approaching the final hill, I saw Chris coming back to the start/finish none too happy for obvious reasons. When I came around to the finish, I saw Chris and he gave me the update. He landed on his helmeted head (Ouch!!) Symptoms: Pounding headache, sore shoulder and knee. I'm no doctor, but he probably got a concussion. He was also pissed because the Foundation rider did not acknowledge his culpability until another rider heard our conversation and went over to talk to the guy, who then came over and offered his apologies and proceeded to tell his side of things, which was that it was the other rider’s fault for not being fast enough and drifting into him. Chris saw the sprint and it wasn't close. A bunch of young, Hispanic riders in pretty cool looking black/yellow team kits with some Japanese sounding sponsor got really aggressive in the last 500 meters and both Joe and Matt opted for letting them have at it. Joe estimates he took 8th. Matt was immediately behind Joe. Two riders we saw at the Branchbook race on 5 March did well. Definitely two to watch. Kansas finished second, Elijah finished fifth.

Joe and Matt rode a cool down lap. Matt fell when the rider in front of him suddenly veered to the left, revealing a jogger in his path. Matt had to grab the brakes and go down to avoid hitting the jogger--what a day! Matt and Chris debated when/if to Chris checked out by a doctor. Looking back on it, I consider myself very lucky and happy that I came out of this with just a chunk of dirt on my right sleeve. I hope Chris is ok.

Chris update: He cracked his helmet in two places, but his headache soon abated. His shoulder is sore and he will soon have the results of his x-rays. Good luck, Chris.

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