Ceraland Challenge, April 19: 22.1 MPH AVG.
It was a dreary day in Ceraland this past Saturday. The temperatures were cold, and the race's beginning was greeted with spitting rain. There were 18 category 4 racers in the race. The M.O.B. squad and Nebo Ridge racing teams were well represented making up the better part of half of the group between the two teams. As soon as the race director said "go" the racing began. It was a fairly fast paced race through the first quarter of the race. The group was staying together until lap prizes were offered. With each prize came another "breakaway" that was shutdown by strong riding from IC3er Chris Hutchison. A rider from IU snatched up the two consecutive lap sprint prizes, and he was awarded a jersey for the third "hot" lap sprint. He was riding very strong to say the least. After the sprints, the race came back together(thanks to Chris) until the final lap. With one mile to go, M.O.B. squad rider, sub-hour Monrovia 40K TTer, and all-around nice guy, Chris Toffolo jumped off the front. Mr. IU and another rider reacted immediately and caught his wheel. Four or five others from the group reacted a little slower and formed a chase group. Team IC3 (represented by Chris Hutchison, Nick Tranbarger, and Tom Trupe) brought their efforts together. Chris took up the pace making responsibilities and brought Nick to within striking distance at the bottom of the finishing "hill." Nick unleashed the finishing effort up the hill, but he started a little late. He managed a second place finish thanks to the hard work from the team. Overall, the race had a successful ending since every team member crossed the finish line rubber side down. (On a side note, the group of 18 riders in the Cat 4 category had three wrecks. Two of these wrecks were single rider accidents. This was in a closed course where we had the two very wide lanes to race upon. Interesting.....)
Mooresville Bike Race, April 20: 23 MPH AVG.
Another cold morning of racing was planned for Mooresville's Pioneer Park this past Sunday morning. Due to the park officials requiring the racers to be out of the park by noon, the Category 3 and 4 races were combined. This made for a group of around 30 to 40. Team IC3 was well represented on the day with four team members present. Kaleb Naegeli, Kameron "Pure Speed" Gray, Chris Hutchison, and Nick Tranbarger were in the pack. The race started with three consecutive "warm-up" laps. This was a nice change from the experience a day ago. At the end of these laps, the attacks began. Chris was patrolling the front of the pack attempting to get in a good looking break. After a few attempts, he came back for a breather in the pack. Kameron took over his role at the front. Moments later, the break of the day went off the front, and Kameron demonstrating his speed and strength went. He successfully made the break after a short chase. The break consisted of a Mesa Cycles rider, two Lucas Oil riders, Kameron. The break worked well together and put up to 40 seconds into the main group. Back in the main group the Indiana Hand Center team, who missed putting a rider in the break, were taking the chasing responsibilities. They were not being successful in bringing the gap down. When the pace slowed momentarily, Chris took a chance and tried to bridge the gap to the break. Kaleb also mounted his own attack. Both aggressors from IC3 made strong effort to join "Pure Speed" up at the front, but they couldn't quite make it. They made the decision after a lengthy pursuit to come back to the group and prepare for the race for fifth. With one lap to go, Nick, who had been camping at the back of the pack the entire race, came to the front with the responsibility of making the last lap very hard, stretching out the pack, and possibly creating easy passing opportunities for Chris and Kaleb. This strategy may have not been the best. Regardless, IC3 had a successful day with Kameron representing in the break and three pack finishers. (Side note: This was a huge group of mostly Cat 3 racers, the roads were more narrow than the previous day, the race was faster with a larger hill, and..........there were no wrecks)