Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Geriatric nationals day 3: USAC shits the bed, several times...

Today was a low down dirty dirty shame. With championship jerseys on the line race organization should be top notch, but today was a mess. There were several events that took place that directly affected the outcome of two races.

In the 35-39 race there was a group of 5-6 off the front. A crash took out two or three riders and in the fray, The break sat up a bit to try to figure out what to do, but one rider decided to keep the hammer down and rolled away. He was solo for a few laps. He was at least a minute up on the field when he flatted. He pulled over toy get a wheel from Shimano neutral support, but they just drove right by. Apparently they though he was a dropped rider. Would he have stayed away? probably not, but if nothing else he would have gotten back in the field and had a chance at the win.

In the 40-44 race the officials screwed big time. The race had 100 starters, and it was on from the gun so people were shelled left a right. lap traffic was a problem. with 2 laps to go a group of four had a 40 sec lead over the main pack, and there was chase of 5 or so in between. With one lap to go the lead had shuffled a bit with 2 riders leading the chase group of 7-8 and the field charging hard. Apparently the moto refs and the lap counters can't keep track of the leaders the two leaders did not get the bell lap. It is not clear what the chase group had been told, but i think they got the bell. Coming into the finish, the two leaders were about 5 seconds up on the chasers, that is within sight.

The course was a bit strange with the finish line not being part of the main loop so that you had to go straight/right at the top of the hill instead of making a left to continue on the course. The lead moto took the two leaders left for an extra lap, and a few of the chasers followed. Some on the chasers were paying attention and went right/straight to the line. One of these smart men won. Rick put in a huge solo bridge and managed to close the gap to a few seconds by the finishing climb and ended up in 5th passing some of the people that made the wrong turn.

After the debacle that took place at U-23 nationals last year I've pretty much lost all faith in the blue shirts. Officiating is a difficult and thankless job, but today the officials stole something from a few riders, and cheapened the national champion jersey that was awarded in the 40-44 Road Race.

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