Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ontario Race 2 - Smash up Derby

Well, coming off the disappointing result of Del Mar on the previous day I was stoked to race hard and bring home a top 5 at Ontario.

I got to the race in plenty of time, got registered and got in a good warm-up. I was feeling really good going into this one. We had about 8 guys from our team in the 60ish man field, so we had a really good presence. This race was on the grand prix course, which is about a 1.5 mile lap or something (relatively long compared to other crit courses)

With about 10 minutes gone in the race there was a series point prime on the line for the winner of the lap. With about 1/3 of a lap to go, the pace was pretty slow, so I took off and tried to see if I could get a good jump on everyone. Unfortunately I came up about 75 yards short. Even still, it was nice to hammer it and see who the guys who had the legs were.

For the rest of the race I tried to take it fairly easy and ride in the middle of the pack.

With 2 or 3 laps to go our team was looking really good. We were all near the front. We were chasing down the breaks and keeping things in check. With about half a lap to go I was somewhere in the top 10 or 15, nicely placed on the outside of the peloton, and had my team in tow behind me. We were in a great position to lead someone out to victory. As soon as we came around the final corner we were ready to hammer it.

Unfortunately that corner never came. Just before we got there some jackass junior decided that he needed to get to the outside of the pack, so he veered to his right taking out me and everyone around me. We were going about 27 miles an hour at the time. Bikes and bodies were flying trough the air. It all happened so fast that I never even knew what happened to me. All I really knew for sure was that I was going to crash. Based upon my bruises I believe I went over my handlebars and somehow somersaulted up to my feet. As soon as I was up I had bikes crashing into the back of me and people were laid out all over the side of the road. As the pictures demonstrate, the number of people racing to the line for the final time was pretty small.

There were at least 20 people taken out by this one guy's stupidity. Because my team-mates were all behind me at the time, the crash took a particularly big toll on our group. Two of my team-mates were pretty seriously injured, both getting hauled out by ambulance. One broke his arm in two places and required surgery in order to set his arm back in place. The other was mostly shaken up. As for me, I sprained my shoulder really badly. It's now Tuesday and I'm finally able to use my right arm a bit. I still don't have anything close to my normal range of motion however.

As you can see in the final picture, my bike was just as big a victim as I was in this crash. It's needed a new rim for the front wheel, a truing of the rear wheel, new bar tape, re-alignment of shift/brake levers and a thorough inspection of the frame. A couple hundred bucks at least when you add all the labor into the picture.

I'm not too sure whether I'll be racing the Omnium this weekend or not. At this point I'm fairly optimistic; however, I won't know for sure until I get back on my bike again. I'm picking it up from B&L this afternoon so I may try to head out for a short ride and see how I feel.

Photos from Ontario Crit 2


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