Saturday, October 31, 2009

Curt Potocki's Big Day! Vets Park CX Day #1 and 2

After several years of almosts, mechanicals, injury and health type issues, Curt finally nailed a podium today and in commanding fashion by doing it at one of the toughest courses you could ever race CX on -- Veteran's Park in Ann Arbor. There were slippery hills you could not ride, mud, wind, rain, mud, temps in the 40s, mud, barrier, and a filed of 25 plus. Curt went with the lead group and they soon started stretching out the field until they broke off the front. Then Curt and Shawn (Cannondale Midwest) stuck together sitting in 3rd and 4th and continued to grow the gap between them and rest of the field. With a lap to go, Curt made his move and attacked to force a gap. It worked! And he was able to hold on to it all the way to the finish for 3rd place! Way to go Curt. You deserved it.

As for me, I was able to keep my podium streak alive also. But it did not look very good at the start. Right from the whistle, I got into a touch of wheels and elbows do to a lead rider not holding his line and there was no where to go. So I held my line and pushed back a little. This caused my front wheel to latch onto his rear derailleur so I went for a free ride until I started hear my spokes pinging. OH S&#T! That can't be good. I was able to finally free my wheel. By this time I had drifted back to somewhere around 10th or 12th place. My heart rate was going crazy and I was not making up any ground. I finally settled down and started picking guys off one at a time. I made the most ground on the 2 run ups and technical sections of the course. I made it back up to the 4th and 5th place guys. One of which was Andy Brown. He looked to be in difficulty and fighting with mechanical issues. So I did not waste any time and passed him. His team mate stuck with me for the rest of the race. We rolled around the course for 2 more laps together increasing our time on everyone behind us, but we could not catch the 3rd place guy. On the last run up, I tried to use it to force a final gap and sprinted up as hard as I could. It worked but he was able to latch back on. In the final flat section, he attacked and pulled around me. It was too much for me to respond. But I did make a little bit of it back up. Going into the final straight right before the line I was about 15-20 feet off of his wheel. He stood up and sprinted. I responded. But could not reel him in. He beat me for 4th by 2 seconds. But Still a great day with another 5th place!

In additon to Curt's big day. I want to make sure I recognize Kevin Skipworth for his 5th place in the C-40 plus race today. This is Kevin's first Podium for Cyclocross in the Tailwind Series. And it is a good indication that Kevin will be ready to light up the ICEMAN next weekend! I hate to say it Kevin, but I think your hooked. You will forever be a cross junkie. I see a new bike in your future....

Day 2 - Curt double dipped and pulled out another 3rd place by making a charge in the last lap to get away from Brad Lako, which allowed him to coast across the line without any pressure. Way to go again Curt!

As for me, I had my best result to date in the B-class with a strong 3rd place! It was a little dryer and faster today at Vets park, and the course was also a tad shorter. I got a much better start and sat in 3rd place for a good majority of the race. A few attacks came early from a few Rhinos, Wolverines, and Clint Verran who just crushed us today to get his first CX win! Way to go Clint. I did not panic and let them all slip back into the field on the long climbs and run up. Then I set my sights on Andy Brown, the current series leader. Lap after lap, I slowly reeled Andy in but was never able to control 2nd place. Andy's biggest move of the day was to go over the barriers on the long run up and then hop back on his bike and ride to the top. A risky move I felt that would waste a lot of energy if he did not nail it just right every time. One time he fell over trying to clip into his pedals. The last 2 times, he was able to put a small gap into me. We both pushed through the race the entire time as hard as possible and kept a good lead over the main field. In the final few meters Andy was the strongest of the day and slowly slipped away for 2nd place. But This was the strongest CX race I have had this year and probably one of the strongest ever! So there it is 3rd place.

I felt so good after my 3rd place that I jumped into the Single speed race for more punishment. Nothing to report here other than, I finished. I did'nt get lapped, and I took a much needed cookie hand up from the fans! Thanks. I was rewarded for my efforts to carry my carcass around the course for another 45 more mins and got 5th place.

Looks like I will be in good form heading into the Iceman and Icecross next weekend. Now just to try and keep all those sick people out there away from me.


jbhancock said...

Great results this weekend!

Todd Shorkey said...

Great job John! Said it before and I'll say it again.....You 'da man!!!

Congrats to Curt as well! After all he has been through, he deserves the success he has been enjoying. Way to go Capt. Curt!

Curt said...

Hey thanks!

Stay away from all the germs and hopefully we can finish the season with a 1st place.

TP said...