Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Battle of Olustee Training Race

Due to illness and other engagements, Lindner Capital was absent from the famous Battle of Olustee training race in Gainesville, FL. This is a great ride, and am sorry to have missed it this year.

Although, we have this amusing report written by Phil Gaimon:

"On a hot Sunday afternoon somewhere near the Georgia border, an epic battle was brewing. The 75-strong field was pumped, fueled from a 45 minute store stop, and itching for intensity after Dan Larson decided to let a team of prematurely-attacking (and kinda creepy) recumbents just ride away from the group. We turned a corner and began to head back south. Eying a hill in the distance, I looked to Kerry Duggan for a sign.

“Can I go?” I asked.

Kerry replied with a simple gesture, pointing his finger in the air, and firing to start the festivities. I shot off as hard as I could, and the field hesitated behind. They were motivated when they figured out that it was on for real this time, and I wasn’t sure where the next turn was, so I came back pretty quickly, only to be countered by Jim Wright and his tandem partner, cruising along at 35 mph in their national champion jerseys. The field had learned how dangerous they were last year, so the rotation was quick to organize, and a small group bridged, soon followed by the rest of the field.

Attacks went back and forth for the rest of the day, as the aggressive group and the tandem factor eliminated any need for an organized rotation. Most of the attacks contained some combination of myself, David Gutt, Gary Yates, a GCC guy named Andreas, Big Phil, Little Mike Niemi, Chris J, Rudy Robaina, and the tandem (which may or may not have contained a motor). The group thinned on some of the hills, but as 15 active riders ripped each others’ legs off, most of the field was able to sit in and save energy for the sprint.

Big Phil was dangling off the front as we turned onto Millhopper. His well-timed move was countered by Jim Wright, who has been informed that it’s dick to bring a tandem on a group ride, but he’s old so he’ll probably forget by next year. As out-of-towners mumbled to each other asking where the sprint was, I took advantage of the twisty roads and confusion and tried to sneak away. I had a solid gap and good legs, but it was not to be, as the resilient Gary Yates dragged Rudy Robaina up to me with 1 k to go. With the remaining group of about 40 riders breathing down our necks, they refused to work, which made me wonder why they had bothered to come across at all. I tried to explain it to them, but they insisted on saving every last bit of energy for the sprint ahead, although I was welcome to drag them to the line if I was so inclined. It was a wise choice on their part, as I blew up and got a great view of the sprint, rocketing backwards through the field as if I had pulled a parachute.

Gary led out the sprint, and it appeared that Rudy had victory in the bag until David Guttenplan unleashed the powerful sprint that he pulls out of his ass whenever he needs it (if he can find it among all the furniture in there). Inches from oncoming traffic, David was gaining fast. Tragically, the hometown hero had found the hole too late, and ran out of road, leaving Rudy Robaina with the final glory, as Dan Larson claimed the final podium spot. The 115 miles was completed in about 4 hours and 45 minutes."