Concord Criterium, NEBRA Trophy Race#4
Concord NH may seem like a long way to go for a local crit, but the race is well worth it. Stan, Dave, Taylor and I piled into Dave's car for the long drive, fueled by Dave's home made egg sandwiches, and set out to meet Jeremy and Gary at one of the most thrilling courses in New England.
The aprox. 1 mile course follows the outline of a large hilly park, with a steady climb up one side and a fast, downhill with a 180deg right-hander, feeding into a 90deg left and then right to the finish. Its the closest I will come to racing Moto GP motorcycles, and I love it. I also like the heat and humidity, which also featured in the action.
Gary, Jeremy, Dave and I lined up for the 45+ race first - with Dave eyeing the 2nd race, the 35+ as his target for NEBRA Trophy points, I knew I would get good team support in this event. And I did. Gary and Jeremy were aggressive and kept the pace high, allowing me to slip away with former NHL player Eric Weinrich. As the last lap came, with the cat and mouse games about to start, Dave and another racer were coming up on us. Perfect team tactics - Eric was forced to stay out front and on the gas to prevent my fresher team mate from reaching us, and I was able to take the sprint for the win. Dave secured 3rd on the podium, which was perfect.
For the 35+, it was important for Dave to finish as high up as possible, distancing key competitors in the points chase if possible. It played out well. Stan went hard out of the gate, putting everyone into the hurt locker, and allowing only a key group of 7 to escape off the front, including Dave. Gary, Stan and I controlled the pack, making sure nobody got away. To our surprise, Dave's number 1 competition for the NEBRA points was dropped from the escape, and we knew Dave was in a perfect spot to gain points. The pack was given the bell with 4 to go, allowing the group of 6 an open finish - Gary motored away to secure 7th, with myself in 8th - further distancing the competition from Dave. Dave hung on for a 3rd place- 2 podiums in 1 day, and now leader of the NEBRA series.
More great racing with team tactics from the AETNA-Expo team. So much fun!