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Green Mountain Stage Race disaster weekend explodo time

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Green Mountain Stage Race disaster weekend explodo time

Old 09-04-06, 10:10 PM
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TheKillerPenguin
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Green Mountain Stage Race disaster weekend explodo time

Stage 1: an 8 mile mass start hill climb up the appallachian gap. I finish 5th, giving me a good launchpad for a podium strike on stage 3. I'm not the best climber in the race, but I'm damn close.

Stage 2: a 56 mile circuit race. I suck wheels for the whole thing. The longest recovery ride of my life. I remain firmly implanted at 5th on the GC.

Stage 3: 62 miles down, 5km to go. A little bit more downhill to and then the final 3 mile climb up App gap to the finish. What was left of Ernesto apparantly had decided the App gap was the place to be, and we were hit with 30mph crosswinds. It's okay, I thought, you're not getting tossed around, you'll be fine. I let myself settle into the middle of the front gruppetto which at this point was about 20 out of the original 89 starters. There was no way I was finishing below 5th place up that hill.

The sound of metal grinding on the pavement. Someone must have gotten squirrely in the crosswind and crossed wheels with another rider. 2 riders down. 3, then 4. I saw the 2nd place GC man lying flat across the pavement unconscious and bleeding out of his head. I was heading right for him spinning out in my 53-12. I can't hit him, have to get around him any way I can. I lean left and hit the brakes, barely avoiding his head. I'm in the clear, I think. Another rider goes down in front of me. My weight is too far to the left to avoid this one. I go over the bars and tuck and roll, squat down and cover my head for a second, and then run out of the road and into the grass. One of the marshalls pulls my bike out of the road for me as I try to assess my condition. I know I have some road rash at that point, but not much else.

When I see my bike, all I can say is "****." I start fumbling with the chain to get it put back on. Blood from my fingers smears the cranks red and mixes with chain grease. I spin my wheels to see if they're true, only to find my front can't make it past the brakes and my rear wheel leaking air. At this point I can feel that I have a couple of cracked ribs.

I flag down the wheel van before he goes by and ask for 2 wheels. Too many people to count fly through the crash site and onto the finish. My GC contention is flushed down the drain.

I watch as the volunteers peel the man I almost ran over off the ground. He eventually gets up under his own power and wobbles over to the guard rail to sit down and try to figure out what just happened to him. I wish him well and see if he wants what's left of my gatorade.

After a bit of a struggle the rear wheel fits into my bike. My chain rubs when in the big ring, but I don't care. It's all up hill from here. I wish those that can't get back on their bikes good luck and ride on to the finish. What felt like hours of waiting was probably only 6 or 7 minutes.

I catch guys from my field, but there's just not enough time to catch them all and my body doesn't have the power in it to even try. The junior field catches and passes me; I'm able to hang with them, but don't for fear of being DQ'd. Almost to the top, and I catch one final man from my field. I've got blood dripping down my arm and all over my cranks, my jersey is ripped, and I'm panting because I can't breathe right. A crowd of 100 is standing on the side of the road in the fog, rain, and wind cheering us on. The man just behind me stands up and sprints to beat me to the line. You can have it, we're sprinting for second to last place.

My girlfriend/EMT/massage therapist confirms that I have 2 fractured ribs. After I get back to the hotel I take a look at my bike and see that the downtube has folded in on itself; the frame is ruined and the wheels are thrashed. Kudos for Cannondale, neither the welds nor the fork broke on the frame.


Stage 4: Burlington Crit. I borrow a bike from Mavic, a great but poorly fitting Scott Cr1. I line up and feel like I'm going to throw up. I had been watching earlier fields and had seen a lot of crashes on the course. The whistle blew, and off the back I went. I lost my nerve, and wanted to be nowhere near anyone else. I move my way up the field a bit, but always stay out of the way of everyone else. Half the race goes by and I'm pulled. I avoided a 35point GC deduction, so I'm slightly satisfied.


Ultimately I finish 21st on the GC out of 94 starters. I'm dissapointed, bruised, lacking money and in want of a bike, but this, I realize, is bike racing. I didn't give up. For lack of a non-borrowed bike, this was probably the last road race of my season. Next year I return as a cat3.
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Old 09-04-06, 10:25 PM
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Wow

You've left me Speachless.
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Old 09-05-06, 05:42 AM
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Yikes! Glad to hear you're not too banged up. Sorry about the bike. Kudos for saddling up the next day, not sure I would have.
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Old 09-05-06, 05:51 AM
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OMG. Glad to hear you're relatively OK.

On the bright side, you DO have an excuse to buy a new frame...

Your drive and determination in getting on an ill-fitting bike with broken bones is quite amazing. I'm quite sure I woulda been back at the hotel sitting that one out, with much motrin and ice.

That was a seriously hard-fought 21st, and you have every reason to be proud!
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Old 09-05-06, 06:24 AM
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So just a quick correction...I wound up coming in 32nd on the GC, not 21st. Bikereg didn't have the stage 4 results incorperated into it.

Pete- Since my LBS is my sponsor, they're hooking me up with an insane deal on a new frame, and until I get it the owner is lending me his Six/13.
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Old 09-05-06, 07:31 AM
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Sounds like you had an adventure weekend in Vermont. Last year I course marshalled the RR and the CR. Good fun on both - there was a huge pileup of women on the CR, and little damage on the RR.

App is a great climb for a finish. Sorry to hear things didn't go as planned... did you guys get into trouble coming down little gap before the serious climbing starts? Rumor has it there is some construction over there... (I haven't been up that side in about a month...)

I was down in Waitsfield Friday for a fit at FitWerx. Rode through the mayhem over at the parking area and checked out some cool rigs. Watched a few random groups start the climb.

Was in town Sunday for the Crit - passing by on my loop over into NYS. The bricks were still wet as I rolled by - I almost wanted to ditch my ride to watch the carnage. Saw the hay bails stacked in the corners...
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Old 09-05-06, 08:22 AM
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Yeah, it happened descending from the baby gap to the bottom of app gap. The road was nice and smooth but like I said there was a wicked crosswind and I guess someone just couldn't keep their bike under control.
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Old 09-05-06, 09:01 AM
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was there a crash with a cop car in the p/1/2 field?? anyone know?
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Old 09-05-06, 09:16 AM
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yeah...the neutral rollout for stage 2 went up the KOM climb, and immediately following it there was a fast few mile long descent. Right after the rollout, a vt state trooper decided that as the peloton was flying downhill it'd be the perfect time to pull a U turn. Something like 25 guys went down, my teammate barely stayed up. The pros softpedaled to the finish/sprint line and got off the course in protest. So, the pros didn't have a stage 2 this year.
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Old 09-05-06, 09:22 AM
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thanks...i wasn't sure since i heard about it 3rd hand. pretty scary stuff.
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Old 09-05-06, 10:13 AM
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dude ... I was trying to follow your progress on the web site and you just fell off the map after stage 2. I was hoping for the best, but obviously it turned out to be the worst. You're one tough mofo, that's for sure. The good news is that it couldn't have happened at a better time. Let those ribs heal and you'll be back stronger than ever next year. Nice season and congrats on the upgrade!

Glad to hear you're alive.

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Old 09-05-06, 10:42 AM
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Good job Penguin. Tough race. Hope you recover.

But the best news? You're from New Paltz, and the university there was recently ranked one of the top 10 party schools in the nation (with a heavy emphasis on the cannabosity factor). So you can relax nicely while you recover. At least you have that going for you.
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Old 09-05-06, 11:21 AM
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Uuuuuggghhhh... having to pay for your cat3 upgrade with flesh and bone and bike (instead of a top 5 finish) sounds pretty gruesome. Can't blame you for not wanting much to do w/ the crit pack the following day either. May take some time and practice/ reassurance before you're ready to go full speed, wheel to wheel again, I know it would for me. Glad to hear that you're not worse off.
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Old 09-05-06, 12:03 PM
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Dude, my hat is seriously off to you. I don't think I would have mustered the nerve to start the crit the next day on a borrowed bike. Holy cow. Glad to hear that you weren't more seriously hurt.
Come back strong next year!
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Old 09-05-06, 07:53 PM
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My bud was working neutral for the pros, has multiple pictures of bikes torn apart, literaly multiple tubes seperate from one another. However, no serious injuries at least.
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Old 09-06-06, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by PenguinDeD

My girlfriend/EMT/massage therapist
I need one of these. really bad.
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Old 09-06-06, 10:36 PM
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I spectated for the third stage. I was the guy calling out time gaps at the feed zone, screaming "vengavengavenga" to those blown out the back and pushing walkers at the final climb to ride across the line (I'm a true fan what can I say? ). The OP did not go into enough detail about the finish line, as the remains of Ernesto and the tough climb made for an incredibly dramatic finish: the backside of the Appalachian Gap is very, very steep, it was foggy, ridiculously windy and quite wet. Exciting stuff!

Too bad, though, about all the crashes. Lots of carnage in the crit, I heard. Were the fields too big for a tight course? (I wasn't there, couldn't tell you myself)
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Old 12-01-06, 04:54 PM
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bump- here's footage from stage one. I'm the tall guy in blue and orange near the front for the first half of it. I couldn't hang after that because whenever I'd stand up my gears would skip...which is what I get for adjusting my derailler half an hour before the start of the stage Still wound up snagging 5th
http://www.ultrasport.tv/?bcpid=3268...ctid=301794290
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Old 12-01-06, 06:02 PM
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That one dude just won't stop pulling. Damn, I hope he won after a pull like that.
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Old 12-01-06, 06:08 PM
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Jebus.
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Old 12-01-06, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by VosBike
That one dude just won't stop pulling. Damn, I hope he won after a pull like that.
+1 I started wondering who the **** are you working for in this race??
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Old 12-01-06, 06:36 PM
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Typical Cat 4 race!! I love it!

One of the many reasons why upgrading to 3 isn't very difficult.
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Old 12-01-06, 06:54 PM
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Dude, quit pulling!
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Old 12-01-06, 07:18 PM
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A couple of things. First, the guy that won this stage is the one whose head I almost ran over in Stage 3. He went down hard. Second, the guy that was pulling so much at first wound up winning on the GC and took the polka dot jersey. Both of them were monsters.
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