2015 Spring Valley Race Report
Category : Race Reports
The fourth installment of the Ohio Spring Race Series brought Team Headwind to the rolling hills of Spring Valley, OH. This race was characterized by one long wooded climb and plenty of corners mixed among numerous rollers. The Cat 4/5’s were to do 4 laps totaling 38 miles which culminated in a finish atop this sustained gradual grind above the valley. A chilly start to the morning had many of us trying to sort out our attire, but as race time approached, we figured things out. As we waited to depart the staging area, the sun showed us a warm smile and we all knew this was going to be a good day of racing. A neutralized start ushered 41 racers to the top of the climb before any racing had commenced. Even after we had the green light to start racing, Mike was content on the front pacing the peloton slowly through the corners….until…he decided to have a dig. Rider after rider went with him until there was a contingent of approximately 10 racers who had bridged a 20 second gap. Mike was the only Headwind representative in this group and the riders accompanying him were strong enough to maintain this gap, but a lack of motivation from the group to stay away or extend their gap saw the breakaway shut down after a few miles. The second half of the first lap was uneventful as no real breakaways formed. Neil, being tired of methodically following the wheel in front of him, decided to take a flyer on the second lap to see who would bite. Nobody did, so he let up and was absorbed into the peloton but remained well situated towards the front for miles to come. Meanwhile, Dave and Steve were content holding mid-pack positions in anticipation of the day’s drama to unfold at any moment.
2015 Spring Valley Road Race
The third lap transpired without any real developments until the climb came into our midst. The two strongest riders from the previous race bridged a gap on the climb and nobody had the impetus to follow. Steve and Dave could only watch the two edge away as they were sandwiched within the pack, and Neil was conservatively managing his energy levels. Desperate attempts were made to organize and catch the duo over the next several miles but the peloton did not seem to be gaining ground. A chase group of three riders had formed a gap from the main group and was effectively chasing down the breakaway. As the pack accelerated into the base of the final climb, Steve was situated in about 15th position and knew what he had to do to maintain the points lead for the series. The expectation of a top 10 finish was in reach seeing that the final element to conquer on the course was the climb and Steve has proven himself as a perennial climber. Establishing a steady tempo, Steve crested the hill and finished strong behind two racers from this group which secured him an 8th place finish for the day. Dave did not trail far behind, finishing 13th, Neil locked up 18th, Mike finished in 35th after putting in a lot of hard efforts, and Dan had a solid day not necessarily reflected in his 38th placing. We all agreed that it was in fact a wonderful day for racing and we couldn’t have imagined doing anything different on a Sunday in mid-spring. We had a large crowd at the car after the race to discuss the days events and share a beverage from our sponsor Elevator Brewing. The team is looking forward to the flat and fast Lynchburg race this coming weekend where they hope to expand on their successes.