Tour of Franklinton and Beyond
Category : Blog
This post is a few weeks late to be a race report from the Tour of Franklinton but we wanted to write a bit about the race, share our gratitude to Team 614 for putting on a great event and dive into our plans for the rest of the season. First lets tackle the 2015 Tour of Franklinton. Wow what an awesome event! It’s something special to be able to wake up and drive 20 minutes to get to a race and even more special because it is one of Ohio’s premier races. The atmosphere, crowds, and talented racers made it a day that will go down on the 2015 race calendar as one of the best.
The Cat 1/2/3 race was about as predictable as they come. A bunch of really fast guys toed the line and hoped to hammer with the best of them but in the end that team from Cleveland wearing the blue, black and pink just worked over the field. It was no surprise to see Paul Martin from Netherland Rubber take the win. Doesn’t he do this at most of the crits? And if it’s not him it’s usually someone wearing the same kit. Some might find it frustrating but our group sat and watched the tactics of this team play out to perfection wishing we had the ability to ride as smart and as wise as they do. Jack shot out of the gates giving an over FTP effort to try to lap the field but when that didn’t work he quickly sat up to rejoin the field. Once back in the group three or four Netherland guys, including Paul and Jack, decided to up the pace a bit and shredded the group leading to a victory by Paul and a Second place by Jack. Jeremy Grimm was stuck with the two Netherland guys finished in a solid third position.
In the Cat 3/4 race we had Steve racing his second race of the day after competing in the Cat 4/5 hours earlier. He finished a very respectable 21st out of 50 or so racers. None of the other guys on our squad were willing to take the line for a second time. Most of this had to do with the cooler full of Elevator Beer that waited for us after the Cat 4/5 race. Our group stayed right on the course and cheered Steve on as he braved the course. Mike repeatedly yelling “Move up, Move up” over and over again each time Steve passed the team. Steve will be the first to admit he isn’t a crit guy but he is quickly becoming more and more comfortable with the high speed turns and the elbow rubbing that takes place at 25+ MPH. Look out competition. If Steve commits to crit racing he will be a force to recon with.
The Cat 4/5 race was the main focus for the team at the race this season. We had five guys in the race this year with hopes of performing well and hopefully grabbing a podium. The owner of Elevator Brewing Company came down to the race this year so it added a little motivation for a podium spot. The unexpected part of the race this season was that the Juniors 15-18 were added to the field to complete two races at once. This is common at crits due to the tight time schedule. What turned out to be unexpected was that in the Junior field was Nicholas Vorwerk a Cat 2 racer, that is, well, a bit faster than everyone else. From the moment the go, Nicholas was hammering the pedals forcing the group of nearly 60 racers to be strung out immediately. With a course like Franklinton that has seven technical corners, if you aren’t at the front of the pack during an increase in speed it’s almost impossible to catch back on. That’s exactly what happened to 4 of the 5 from our team. Steve was the only one that was able to navigate the course without being dropped by the Junior’s increase in speed and finished 3rd on the day. A great podium for Steve and a great result for the team. The rest of our guys slid back to form a group which was the third group on the course. Neil, Mike and Dave worked together to keep the pace in their group high with hopes of catching riders that were falling off the lead pack. Dan was dropped from the group due to the high pace and intensity. Mike tried a number of times to create a gap from the group to surge forward to catch the lead group but wasn’t successful. Neil and Dave took turns on the front increasing the speed during the last two laps in hopes to drop riders before the sprint finish. At the sprint it Mike was nabbed by a rider from the Ghisallo Cycling Team at the line with Neil and Dave finishing right on Mikes wheel. Mike took 2oth, Neil 21st, and Dave 22nd. Dan finished with a solid effort in 38th. When compared to last years results the entire team has improved drastically. Let’s hope we can continue this momentum into the rest of the remaining races this season.
Speaking of the rest of the season, we are starting to ramp up our training for the State Championship race on July 16th. It’s another trip to the hills down in hocking for the right to the Cat4 state championship. Let’s hope our climbers are ready to go in about a month. The State Crit Championship is this coming weekend and Mike is looking to test his legs at this event up in Sylvania. Then comes Ohio Cycling’s Triple crown. June 26th, 27th and 28th with Grandview, Hyde Park, and Madeira. Let’s hope next weekends weather cooperates and gives Ohio’s cyclists a great three days of racing.
Our team has also decided to volunteer for the Women’s Midwest Road Race Championships held out in Zanesfield on July 12th. We always look for ways to help the cycling community and this event will attract riders from all over the Midwest.