OSRS #2: Lake Hope Road Race
The second race in the Ohio Spring Race Series
is in the books after some very interesting weather entered Ohio. On Tuesday, the forecast for the race at Lake Hope projected 60 degrees and sunny skies but that was trumped by unexpected snow showers moving into the region late Saturday night. There were many concerns about the race being cancelled due to snow covered roads. The Team Athens cycling club did a great job cleaning the course and after an hour race delay the roads were mostly dry and ready for racing.
In the CAT5 race Neil and Mike exited the staging area around 11:10 with a group of 22 racers for the 20 mile lap around Lake Hope. Right out of the gates the pace was relatively high with many fighting to stay in the front of the group before the first major climb of the day. The hairpin turn four miles into the race took the riders towards the first major climb of the day and the first opportunity to test the climbing legs against the pack. Neil was positioned well at the front of the group and when a rider from Team Dayton gave it a dig Neil jumped at the possibility to create a gap. With a 15 second gap opening up the field quickly increased the pace up the climb and caught Neil and his breakaway member from Team Dayton. Mike wasn’t able to hold the increased pace up the climb and dropped back to join the second group on the road containing five riders. For the rest of the race the riders battled the uneven terrain with the lead group finishing in a bunch sprint and Neil taking 8th place. Mike was able to drop the other members from his group on the run into the finish to hold onto 13th position. A great effort by both riders to have one in the top 10 and both in the top 15.
In the CAT 4/5 race Steve set out for 40 miles with 29 total racers. The pace was solid until 3 riders broke away from the pack early on the first lap. With Steve leading the chasing group up the climbs they gave chase to the leaders later to catch two of the three breakaway members due to mechanical issues. The lone breakaway rider kept his pace steady and increased his lead on the main pack with every pedal stroke. After a few bursts off the front of the chasing pack failed to succeed the group decided they would finish the race in a bunch sprint for second place (nobody would catch the lone breakaway member as he rode on to win with a 7 minute gap on the field). Steve decided to give a hard effort at close to 500k to the finish but wasn’t able to create a gap and went on to finish 7th in the sprint finish.
Overall, it was a great day of racing the Headwind Cycling. What looked like a possible cancellation of the race due to weather conditions turned out to be a great day of racing. Now it’s time to rest, train and prepare for this coming Sunday’s race in Zanesfield.
Click here for full race results.