2015 Zanesfield Race Report
Category : Race Reports
The weather was warming up and so was the competition at Zanesfield, the third round of the Ohio Spring Racing Series. After surviving the frigid temperatures and steep punchy climbs of Lake Hope, the members of the Headwind Cycling team came out of the gates swinging. The Zanesfield course is characterized by its two climbs. The first climb comes early in the lap and is steeper; the second climb is not as steep but is almost three miles long. To keep things interesting, Mother Nature decided to throw in a nice stiff breeze right before the start.
Not happy with just riding around and enjoying the scenery, the team decided to attack early and often. The opening salvo was fired within the first mile by the dynamic duo of Neil and Dave. While still on the lower steep section of the first climb they cranked up the pace to see what would happen. The field reacted and was strung out over the top of the climb and through the rolling descent that followed. Everyone came back together once the field got its first taste of the strong cross/headwind that kept the flat section of the course quite grueling. True to plan, as soon as the field reformed, Mike put in a dig to see if anyone would chase. With few in the field feeling sporty enough to brave the wind the field reformed again and settled in for what looked to be a long and difficult morning. The end of the first lap had the field take its first trip down the fast decent back into Zanesfield proper, with speeds in excess of 50 mph.
OSRS #3 Zanesfield Road Race
The second time up the steeper first climb, Steve decided to open up his legs up a bit and attacked from the bottom of the climb. This had the desired effect, shedding close to half of the original 47 registrants from the front group leaving only 20 or so riders in contention for the win. The lead group made a rapid run through the rolling descent to the backside of the course and when taking the right hand corner into the headwind the remaining 20 riders slowed to form a large pack while everyone waited for a brave sole to make a move. It just so happened that at this time an independent time trial specialist from Dayton took a flyer into the wind. He quickly opened up a 30 second gap on the field. Not wanting to let this strong rider get away, the remaining riders formed a strong pace line and began the chase. It took strong pulls from a number of riders in the chase group, including Dave, to start reeling him back in. The efforts of the chase continued to whittle away at what was left of the peloton. In a moment of inattention Dave had a touch of wheels (sorry Levi) and almost hit the deck. The small gap created by the near miss caused the lead group to split right before catching the lead rider at the beginning of the third and final lap.
One more trip up the opening climb cut the lead group to 13 riders including Dave and Steve. The front group, feeling more than a little gassed, set a steady pace through the last lap until one kilometer to go. The Belgian import from the Paradise Garage squad took off at 900 meters to go and never looked back. Steve and Dave managed to take a solid 8th and 9th place respectively. The result by Steve should help maintain his 1st place overall in the series. After doing work early in the race Mike crossed the line out sprinting two Team 614 racers for 24th and after a hard effort on the first lap Neil rode solo for much of the race and finished 33rd. Dan brought it home in 37th.
It was a tough race on a tough course, but the team didn’t sit in and ride. They attacked early and often creating many of the decisive selections in the field. Next week the squad travels to the fast and flat Deer Creek road race. Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of Headwind Cycling.