State Champs, Webster, & Louisville Fiascos

Thanks to Don Lowe for the pic!

Thanks to Don Lowe for the pic!

What a week!! First, a big congratulations to Gina Champion, Mike Ozment, and Uncle Gary for bringing back wins at the Illinois State Criterium Championships! Robert Kron narrowly missed the win, taking second in the 40+, and we had a strong crew in lots of the races. I was bummed to miss the event.

Steve Hall and I were both waylaid by family commitments, and had to take the shorter trip to Webster Groves, where Steve was narrowly nipped out of the 50+ win. I wasn’t feeling so hot, and tooled in with the pack. Gary Meredith made the trip up with me, but didn’t get a free lap on a mechanical, which wasn’t cool. Later, Chief and Dave Neis showed to represent So. Ill. Dave scored 10th in the 3’s, and Chief ate oysters.

I’ve been suffering from some bug combo for a while, but I felt a little better Monday morning, so I went ahead and did the out and back to Louisville on Tuesday for the Masters National Championship “Road Race”. It was really a mostly downhill crit on an extremely technical course. Over 100 people started in the 40-44 race, and it was not my type of race. I should have driven up the night before, and should have brought a trainer to warm up–there was no place you could ride in the area. It was the park, which was occupied to capacity by the race, and then busy neighborhoods all around. To make matters worse, there was a scrum for the real starting line after callout, and I wound up behind a guy who was trying to put on his helmet–which put me in the back row for the start. Not that it mattered much.

On the line, there was the usual banter, mostly about pedophilia and beastiality. But, some of this was prescient. Mike McShane from Calistoga was being ignored by the race official who was doing call off. He yelled at the woman several times and asked if he was listed, and she wouldn’t even look at him. I said “gee, looks like maybe it doesn’t pay to be on the home team, eh?” He said, “yeah. We have issues. She put my 9 year old daughter in a stranger’s pick-up truck in rural Kentucky when they took the juniors off course at a race. I must have missed that part of the release form where it says that you agree to have your kid raped by hillbillies.”  So, confidence in the race officials was quite high, especially for the home team.

True to form, the lap counter board was screwed up (I could tell that, I was off the back and had nothing to do but count laps). Then, the lead moto  took a couple of guys who were 75 meters from winning the race, including Columbia Mo’s Dave Henderson, around for an extra tour of the course. Then, they decided to ignore the officials’ error and place the winners where they stood in the pack after doing an extra lap. I’m sure glad I was off the back. Hell, I could have won the race. I should have just sprinted up from the feed zone at the appropriate moment. I probably would have been scored. But, then I would have had to hang around longer.

It was great to see Kurt Russell on the sidelines after my ignominious exit. He was up next for the 45+ and trying to feed Kurt Fletcher. We learned this weekend that white is in. I stood there with Kurt R for three laps, and I only caught a glimpse of Kurt F once—and Kurt R. didn’t see him at all. It was a  sea of studly looking old guys in white with a hint of blue and grey. Kurt F was in the hunt all the way until the last lap, when the final selection was made among about 8 guys.

Robo was in the mix in the 45+, and in the TT. He finished in 46th in the RR, and an excecptional 17th in the TT. Way to go Robo!!!


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