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Old 04-09-07, 08:26 AM   #1
merlinextraligh
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Playing in the dirt. Webster/Roubaix

Webster Roubaix was this saturday, a circuit race with 2 miles of dirt road in each lap. The 4/5 race was 5 laps. (The Pro 1,2,3 was 12 laps, which would have been one heck of a beating.) It was really a very neat experience. The dirt section was a single lane country road. Some of it was hard packed, and not difficult. However there were some tooth jarring washboard sections, and several places with sand a couple of inches deep.
The Start/ Finish, was in the middle of the dirt section which made for an interesting sprint.

Warming up on the dirt section, I thought this is really stupid from a risk reward point of view. Surprisingly as you got into the race, and things heated up, riding the dirt section wasn't all that bad. The momentum of going over it at race pace,helped a lot in dealing with the loose sand patches. Riding the dirt section created an interesting dynamic in the race, and definitely was a bike handling challenge

Personally, my race didn't go so hot. I was a little hesitant on the turn onto the dirt at the end of the first lap, let a little gap develop, and never closed it down. From there I was relegated to a second group of about 20 guys. Road pretty strong in that group, and took 2nd in our group's sprint (although honestly, not sure too many in the group even gave it a shot, given we were way out of the points).

Even the 45 miles we did it was a heck of a workout, between the rolling resistence of the dirt portion,a nd the physical beating of riding the dirt at race pace.

So while my results were lousy, it was a heck of a lot of fun. I'll definitely do it next year.

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Old 04-09-07, 08:29 AM   #2
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Sounds awesome! Maybe this is a good primer for a merlin Cyclocross career?
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Old 04-09-07, 09:00 AM   #3
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Sounds like blast Merlin!
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Old 04-09-07, 09:49 AM   #4
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Sounds great!

I was excited for our own roubaix imitation race this weekend in boulder, but it got postponed due to worries about hypothermia. It's suppossed to be the HELL of the north right?
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Old 04-09-07, 10:24 AM   #5
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If anything, Webster would have been more fun if it was cold and/or raining. 70 degrees and sunny just isn't the same. A hill or two would have been nice too, but that's Florida for you. Had an awesome time. Epic.

I heard there was an altercation involving someone getting pushed over during the race. Anyone know anything about this?
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Old 04-09-07, 10:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by thatguy
If anything, Webster would have been more fun if it was cold and/or raining. 70 degrees and sunny just isn't the same. A hill or two would have been nice too, but that's Florida for you. Had an awesome time. Epic.

I heard there was an altercation involving someone getting pushed over during the race. Anyone know anything about this?
Rain would have really made it the Hell of the South.

The shoving incident involved a junior on Cola Vita. He flatted, then was motor pacing behind the wheel van to get back up. A number of people (who I think may have thought he just got dropped) were yelling at him telling him to get off the van. One guy went up to have a talk with the kid, and apparently gave him a bit of a push. I don't think anybody went down.

The official did tlak to the guy that gave the push after the race. I'm not sure if any sanctions were handed out.
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Old 04-09-07, 10:54 AM   #7
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Results are posted, and I'm feeling slightly better about my effort. Finished 26th. And if they would have broken out Cat 5's seperately, I was the first Cat 5 finisher ( a truly major accomplishment I realize. )

And my teamate got 2nd. (which I had zero to do with. despite good intentions I never got in a position to give him any help.)

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Old 04-09-07, 11:15 AM   #8
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congrats on a job well done.

sounds like a fun course.

a few weeks ago i rode over a 5km stretch of hard packed dirt on a group ride, which kind of p1ssed me off at the time - i had just put fresh tires on.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:37 AM   #9
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Please tell me you used the backup bike and not the Giant...
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Old 04-09-07, 11:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
The official did tlak to the guy that gave the push after the race. I'm not sure if any sanctions were handed out.
Interesting. Sometimes the officials are right on top of everything (yellow line rule, etc.) and sometimes it's every man for himself it seems. I did find an official and report one guy wearing an iPod with two earphones. I think only Cat 1/2 can have a radio and certainly no one can have an iPod. I could even hear the music while we were riding! I gave them the race number, but who knows if he got DQ'd or even reprimanded. It's really frustrating when you put a lot of time/money/effort into racing and then watch people blatantly ignore the rules.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:48 AM   #11
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I was the first Cat 5 finisher
Whoa, nice!
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Old 04-09-07, 11:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinokurtov
Please tell me you used the backup bike and not the Giant...

I rode my Merlin with a set of 32 spoked Ultegra/ Open Pro wheels, and 23c Michelin Pro Races. I thought that the Merlin would be a lot more comfortable on the dirt.

Next year, I think I'm going to put on 25c tires, maybe just a little less squirrely in the sandy sections.

Tubulars would have been a good choice, but I wasn't going to risk my new Zipp 303's.
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Old 04-09-07, 12:21 PM   #13
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I wanted to do that race, but it filled up before I registered. Sounds like you had a good one and was alot of fun! I'll be racing in Jax next weekend, see you there.
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Old 04-09-07, 02:07 PM   #14
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webster roubaix was by far the most fun i've had at a floridacycling event this year. maintaining momentum on the dirt was tough, acceleration was a nightmare, the wind was horrible, and at one point a dog ran into the middle of the our pack. dirty, dirty fun.

as far as sanctions, i heard the cat5 was to get a 2 wk suspension for pushing the other rider (who turned out to be an official's son).
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