03 April 2005

Metropolitan Series: 3 April 05

He's baaaaaack!
Team Echelon Takes Third, Fifth

Submitted by Matt Purdue

Racers: Chris F., Matt P., Matt R., David R.

The rain politely held off for today's race, althought it would have been nice to have some water on the roads to wash away the branches, chestnuts and other debris. As it were, we spent the race dodging bedknobs and broomsticks.

Because of the relatively small field, the organizers lengthened the race to three laps. Finally, we got our money's worth. But the leaders didn't seem to realize that we'd be forced to ride an extra 6.1 miles. The tempo was allegro from the start, with Eli (the series leader) and Euri (Team Miya Shoji) setting the early pace.

After 1 1/4 laps, the field had split into two groups. Chris F. and Matt P. stayed with the lead pack, which saw Eli and Euri play cat and mouse for miles. Eli spent plenty of time forcing Euri to pull, only to leave Euri out in the wind whenever he pulled off. It was interesting to watch this Amstel Gold Race gamesmanship in a Cat. 5 race.

At the halfway point, Matt P. hit a pothole and heard the dreaded cobra: HSSSSSS! After two post-race flats on Saturday, he was convinced he had again been snakebit. He actually pulled over to check his tires. But they were still rock hard. Damn! A guy behind him had flatted. The pack raced away and Matt P. spent the next four miles playing catchup, finally regrouping with the leaders on Harlem Hill.

Eli and Euri dueled like Ali vs. Frazier at the head of the pack the rest of the way. Meanwhile, our dark horse, Chris F., bided his time. Awake until 2 a.m. the night before the race, Chris F. admitted he was tired, but when it came time to hammer, he responded. In the final sprint up Cat's Paw, Chris F. clung to Eli and Euri like Velcro. At the top he snagged thirdplace in one of our fastest races yet! Keep in mind this is the guy who tumbled arse over elbows a few weeks ago and cracked his helmet.

Props to Chris F. for completing his comeback. Matt P. also earned a trophy, placing fifth.

Euri pipped Eli at the line for his second consecutive win. Someone please tell this kid to upgrade! Expect Euri and Eli to battle it out for the points championship.


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