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Monday, May 24, 2010

O'Fallon Gold Cup Criterium



This was a pretty fun race:  I had never done it before and a bunch of new riders entered this race so it really helped even out the Dogfish domination.
Especially note worthy was the presence of the team "Tradewind Energy" which is a VERY strong team with some outstanding National caliber riders including: Brian Jensen (former pro and a good one), Steve Tilford (former pro and regional cycling legend), Nick Coil, Bill Stolte, and (I'll have to look up this other dude's name.... sorry). 

We were also blessed with the presence of Missouri's beloved professional Jelly Belly rider, Brad Huff.
Brad is a very cool dude, extremely likable and funny to boot. If you click his name, you may get the idea.  (I was trying to find his pro-blog page and found this instead).

I do have one funny Brad Huff story that I'm more than happy to tell.  Last year, the Joe Martin Memorial Stage Race (NRC PRO RACE) was my first TRUE Professional/cat 1 race and I was very happy and excited about the whole thing.  I most certainly knew who Brad Huff was and to my surprise he knew who I was and actually chatted with me at the first stage (we're both Missourians, but hadn't raced each other yet)   So, I'm all wide-eyed watching all these pros while hanging out at the back of the peloton cruising around 28 mph and I notice that Brad Huff is holding hands with Mike Creed of Rock Racing.  All I could do was laugh.  The weird thing is that they held hands for SEVERAL minutes, and pretty much only for their own self amusement and the chief official car that was immediately following.  

I should also mention Dan Schmatz.  (Brad mentions him in the video).  Dan is also a former professional bike racer, but now races for fun.  He's truly known as a sprinter and he's a good one.  Unfortunately he is also known for a mishap that occurred in the first Tour of Missouri (UCI PRO RACE) that knocked him out of it. 

So we are about to start the O'Fallon Gold Cup Criterium and some dude/spectator from the periphery yells to Dan, "No armadillos here!"

I literally almost cringe.  What a thing to say.  Dan crashed out of the Tour of Missouri after hitting a dead armadillo laying in the road.  The fan, says sorry and Dan says, "Yeah, I get that a lot."

Anyway, Dan ends up pinching me in the sprint.  I do mean pinch.  I initially felt that he had moved over on me during the sprint and I initially felt  wronged.  You can check the video, as I did later, and see that it's not too serious.  Plus it's important to note that we were sprinting for the 8, 9, and 10.  We had missed the final break. 

My biggest error in this race was that I allowed myself to float to the back of the pack after being reeled in after being in small break-a-way groups.  Live and learn.  Hopefully I will discipline myself to not do that again.  Unfortunately it's always easier said than done.

Well, that's it for this segment of ........... as the wheel turns.  Have fun riding your bikes everyone!

-Henderson

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