15 October 2008
This past weekend the Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team was in Gloucester, Massachusetts as well as
in Richmond, Virginia. It's all good, no GREAT, news atmo*. First things first. While I do not as yet have the
first person account from Hambo himself, the news is that, like - who was it, Lee? - Jon Hamblen, our lone
Mid-Atlantic States soldier, came and conquered. How do I know? I saw it here: http://www.bikereg.com/
race with Jon more than 3-4 weekends during the 'cross season (and I am desperately trying to get him to
move his hiney up here just so the numbers improve). However, that will change for the moment soon because
the next string of events has all of the RS 'Cross Team converging in Brandywine country in 4 short days.
More on that later. In the meanwhile, here is a race report JUST sent over from Jon:
Alicia and I took our boy Fox up to Richmond, VA, for the Cyclocross Festival races. Three
races put on by Dr Matt and the Altius cycling team. The first race on Saturday was a really
torque-y circuit in Chmborazo park. Chimborazo is on the side of a big hill downtown. We got
to up and down the hill plenty of times. To make it hurt extra super bad, they had us go over
a big set of stairs at the top. Alicia finished third in her race after losing her rear wheel at the
start (we forgot to tighten the quick release after a pre race wheel change). I won my race
after riding with my road teammate Mike Stoop (Altius) until the last time up the stairs. Stoop
let me win. Good thing too, even though this was Mike's second cyclocross race ever he was
riding strong and he has a good bit of sprintyness in him. Thanks Mikey!
The one lap time trail was held just after the Men's race Saturday, one lap of the course minus
a barrier. It hurt more than any lap in the race. Alicia took second and I won my race by just
two seconds over Stoop.
The last race of the omnium was held at Bryan Park, a place I know very well. I used to live
down the street when I was an amateur bike racer in the mid-nineties. We used to race at
Bryan Park on skinny tires every Tuesday night. The course was super fast with fun sections
in the woods and lots of barriers. After the grinding lower back workout the previous day,
Alicia's back was already in trouble before she had to run the two sets of fast barriers. About
halfway into the race her back finally quit and she had to limp in for third place after riding in
second for the first half. In my race we had a group of four together for the first half. Stoop
was there again but having trouble on the barriers, Craig Dodson (Richmond Pro Cycling) was
riding fairly well, and another Altius guy was not having trouble staying on either. I'm pretty
sure I was the only full time cross racer in the group but these guys were not letting me get
away without a fight. I had to light it up out of every turn for two laps to get a little gap. But
it was enough of a gap to hang on for the win and another big check. Which reminds me, the
prize money for this race was awesome, Thanks Dr Matt!
Up here in the Cupcake Belt, the rest of us had a mighty fine, no - make that a MIGHTY F^&*ING FINE,
time in Stage Fort Park for the New England World's, aka the Erdinger Gran Prix of Gloucester. Myself
and my wife, aka The Lovely Deb, along with Justin, Amy, Matt, Dave, and Will, all raced extremely well.
Especially on Saturday. I know, that was not a real sentence. For starters, Dave and I were in the Masters
55+ race (which was kinda' sorta' combined with the Masters 35+/45+ B race...). I was there in Glawsta' for
at least one podium appearance and I delivered. Came in second. I know, that was not a real sentence.
And the ca tthat beat me was a two-time National Champion, so I feel mighty effin' fine about the result.
Dave followed me in, not much further back, at sixth place. We rule. In the real racing events, where folks
half our age - folks who could be described as skinny white people with tan lines - the RS' Cross Team
contingent continued to represent. Amy had a killer start in the Women's Elite race and was with the front
group for the first 30 minutes or so, eventually coming in eighth. Wallace for President. Please vote early
and often. In the less fairer sex's Elite event, Justin, Matt, and Will all got off to fast starts in this hour long
race. Ultimately, Justin cracked the top ten and netted us an eighth. Will finished fifteenth, and Matt was
twenty third. Note to self: Why am I spelling out these numbers? For Will's part, his result was good enough
to allow him to continue to wear the coveted VergeSport New England Points Series Leader's jersey in the
U23 division for another day. And Sunday was indeed another day.
Day two at Gloucester saw all of us ready for more, and as hard as we wished and tried, only the Issimo
was able to deliver the goods. The Amy came in ninth on a course which, for all of us, was a slightly harder
version than what we encountered on Saturday. In my race, I dropped off the podium to fourth place and
was supremely bummed for that. I blew what can best be described as a road sprint finish for third place
and I vow mistakes like that will never happen again. I chased the entire race and caught my rabbit with
half a lap to go. I expected to deflate this cat major league style owing to the simple fact that a bad start
had me behind for the first forty one minutes of racing. When I made contact I felt as if this girl was mine.
And she would have... - Oh, screw it. No excuses, I'll learn from the tactical error I made. End of story. I
know, that was not a real sentence. In the Men's race, sad to say that we were either flat, or set with mechanical
issues or both. Justin rolled a tire mid race while he was comfortably in the top ten. Done. I know,
that was not a real sentence. Pookums rolled a rear tubie later in the race while he was still in the
front twenty. Done. I know, that was not a real sentence. And Will, the little engine who could,
couldn't. Matt finished in twenty first and Will was seven places behind him. In and of themselves,
these are pretty good results, all things considered. But I know that we have more horses and
better luck most of the time, and Saturday was clearly the better of the two days for us.
Before I let go of the weekend, one of its highlights for all of us was seeing pal Dave Genest again. For
those who don't know the team lineage, what we have here and what I blog about weekly and seem to
manage on a daily basis, is a team that was started by Dave almost twenty years ago. The best way to
describe this is to point to a web text from a year or so ago when we were doing bios of sorts on all of the
players. Read here: http://richardsachs.com/
this a.m. -
Raced at the first day of Gloucester after being away from the "circuit" for a bit. It was indeed like coming home.
Same ghetto parking spot, same warm hugs all around, same (older) faces, same feeling of belonging and purpose,
same rarefied feeling in the air of high test energy, bubbling beneath the surface, jonzing for release.
We're goin' bikin'!
Richard and I chatted, caught up, and generally worked our way through warm-ups towards the starting grid.
The difference is that Richard is an icon (as the young reported called him). Actually more of an iconoclast.
Not only for the bikes (someone yelled to me après race..."must be nice to ride on jewelry"...or did he say jewery?...
either way the answer was "yabetcha"), and the "Team" that is both well known, feared, and jealously copied, but
Richard is also one of the feared old men. A racer who takes the podium by storm. Someone who gets away,
doesn't make mistakes, and never comes back.
All-in-all...a great day of racing and beautiful weather. It remains nice to be on (and hang with) team red
(though hiding beneath black threads). It was great to see and chat with young Deb, meet younger Will
(who shares with me the royal birthplace of Pizzafield), shake the buzzingly beautiful Amy's hand, and
feel proud that we're the longest running (and stylish) cross team in America (maybe the world?!) and
(according to my opinion) bigger than General Motors (or Fidea).
See ya'll soon
If anyone EVER wonders why I love my team, Dave is a prime example. As I always say, as someone else
said,"To surpass the Master is to repay the debt." Dave is the Master atmo.
For those of you who receive as well as read these missives, you'll notice that this entry is free of the usual
ten thousand embedded hyperlinks. To redeem this, I'll give you one and one only killer link. To wit, this past
weekend was a treasure trove for excellent team photography, most supplied by others, and a very few
images taken by moi with my new Canon G10. Please scroll through these pics:
and spend time with the All Sizes icon to see some wonderful action shots and lifestyle ones too.
Next weekend we'll be in Wilmington, Delaware and Ludwig's Corner, Pennsylvania for more UCI races at
two of the RS 'Cross Team's favorite races. On Saturday it's the Grenogue 'Cross UCI 1 event, and on
Sunday we race the Wissahickon 'Cross UCI 2 event. And the best part of these two races is? Well, for
the first time in all of the 2008 season, the entire RS 'Cross Team will be in one place at one time. As
noted above, Jon will be coming up from North Carolina, and Alie (remember Alie?!) is flying in from
Boulder for a 10 day stint. The A-Team will reunited - The RS-Team will be too! For more information
on the A-Team, please visit these links:
For more information on the races, please see these links:
That's all I got! Thanks for reading.
Richard Sachs Cycles
No.9, North Main Street
Chester, CT 06412 USA
*according to my opinion
15 October 2008