Monday, February 18, 2008

San Antonio Road Race

Ryan Saylor for the second weekend in a row made the winning break to finish 8th place in the hilly San Antonio Road Race. He sent in this report from Saturday:

"San Antonio proved again to be a brutal venue for the 2008 edition of the Race for Humanity. While eighty five miles isn't the longest road race around, add in some long central Florida hills and the miles take their toll. The weather couldn't be much nicer to the racers with blue skies and a high around 80 degrees. Lindner Capital was represented by Jeff Kopp, Curtis Long, Victor Rodriguez, Karel Sumbal, Clint Bridier and Ryan Saylor. With over one hundred racers starting the pro/1/2 race, the large field started relatively slow with the group pedaling with nervous trepidation. Soon however, the attacks starting flying and Phil Gaimon slipped away with a handful of riders which did not include any of the normal Florida big names. They did however gain about a minute and a half on the field who did not seem overly concerned with the move. Phil Gaimon unfortunately got a flat tire and was forced to wait for the wheel truck which trailed the field. This seemed doom for the break away, but rumor had it that Frank Trevieso, now with Toshiba/Santo, bridged across to the break and replaced Gaimon with a different set of worthy legs. Not too surprisingly, after changing his wheel Gaimon caught back up to the field. After some relentless work from Gaimon combined with sporadic attacks from the field the break was eventually brought back about 50 miles into the race. More attacks followed from Winston David (Aerospace Engineering) and Gaimon until the rubber band broke again--this time with Gaimon, David and Allison Anjos (Herbal Life). The trio quickly gained over a minute lead before Daniel Larson (CycleScience) attacked the field with a Preferred Alliance rider in tow. The two also gained a lead on the field and seemed to be on their way to bridge to the leading trio. Ryan Saylor ( Lindner Capital), jumped out of the field with yet another Preferred Alliance rider and after some leg breaking work tagged onto Larson and the Preferred Alliance rider. Larson, Saylor and the two Preferred Alliance riders worked together, but didn't seem to gain on the lead trio. After 10 miles of suffering, the four chasers were caught by yet another group of chasers containing many of the usual Florida big names (Joel Chavez, Ivan Franco, Ricardo Hernandez, John Durango, Rudy Robaina and more). The chase group then swelled to as many as a dozen riders or so. However, the group's unforgiving pace left five riders heading back towards the peleton while Saylor found himself unfittingly among what seemed to be a Spanish armada of strong men. Outgunned, Saylor sat on the back of a blistering fast group until the lead trio was run down with only a few miles left in the contest. Broken, Allison Anjos and Winston David could n ot withstand the final attacks from the anxious favorites and rolled in just behind the lead group. John Durango outsprinted defending state road race champion Joel Chavez for the win. Rafeal Meran rounded out the podium. Ricardo Hernandez took fourth. Phil Gaimon, not known for his sprinting, managed to come away with fifth followed by Ivan Franco in sixth. Ryan Saylor hung on for 8th place. After some unfortunate mishaps, Kopp, Long, Rodriguez, Sumbal and Bridier rolled in strong amongst a peloton which left over half the starters as casualties."

Ryan Saylor