Body Concepts Bicycle Race Team – Race Report by: Matt Conidaris
Race: Henleyville Road Race
Date: Saturday, September 29, 2012
Category/Field Size:: Men 45+ 4/5 – Field Size 40
Team Mates: Dave Bryant, Matt Conidaris, John Ensign, Gary Neiman, Will
Park, DJ Singh, Nelson Frink, Jack Wenzel
Weather: Low 60’s at the start, low 80’s at the finish.
Course Description: 3 laps around a flat 18 mile course with one hill and a few rollers.
Race Plan / Strategy: Get as many riders to place in the top 15 as possible so that we could earn 65+ points and win the BAT title. Our plan was to have two riders cover brakes and have the rest of the riders sit in to stay as fresh as possible. On the final lap, get everyone to the front for the final two miles and have 2 – 4 riders rotate the front at a speed that would make it difficult to have other teams to advance past us.
Race: As soon as the race started, 3 riders broke away, including Gary Neiman, Mike Ewing and Pete Gemmell. We eventually caught them. About half way into the first lap, Nelson let me know that he was getting a flat on his tubular. I handed him my Vittoria Pit Stop and hoped he’d be able to stop, inflate his tire and get back with the group. Unfortunately, although he made a great effort, wasn’t able to bridge back to the group. Shortly after Nelson flatted, John Ensign’s seat post clamp came loose and his seat dropped to the frame. He stopped and fix it and by the time he got going, the pack was gone.
We started the third and final lap with six team members left. There were several attacks, but the one that had the best chance of sticking was with about 1/4 of a lap to go, when Randy Floyd, Toby Katz & Fred Crone went off the front. I tried to get a rotating pace line going to real them back in, but didn’t have any luck getting it going. Chris Crescioli and Keith Lyons tried to bridge up to the lead three riders, but we caught them three minutes later.
As we were about 2k from the finish, Tony Mainz was moving through the peloton unsafely. When he moved past me, I kept an eye on him. As I watched him move in between the wheels of Gregg Marioni and a rider next to Gregg, I watch him hit the wheel of the rider to the left of Gregg and start to fall. I moved to the left as Tony fell to the left and hit Gregg Marioni’s rear wheel. I rode past Gregg as he was falling to the left. As this crash was happening, DJ Singh was to the right of me and directly behind the crash. He had nowhere to go and hit Tony and went over the bars. Gary Neiman went off the road to the left of the accident and crashed. Will Parks and Jack Wenzel were slowed because of the crash and lost contact with the group.
Dave Bryant and I were able to safely make it around the crash and hang with the group. We caught Randy Floyd and Toby Katz before the 1k sign, but Fred Crone was still up the road. Chris Crescioli attacked and went up the road. We caught him inside of 600 meters and Fred Crone inside of 400 meters. Brent Christian tried to go up the right side at about 300 meters, but quickly got caught.
In the last 200 meters, Keith Lyon, Nick Roberti, Troy Underwood, Toby Katz, Dave Bryant and I, had a little gap on a group of 10 others, Keith Lyon attacked from the left side, and sprinted across the line for the win. Nick Roberti also attacked and sprinted to the line for second place. I was behind big six foot six inch Troy Underwood and started to go around him, but changed my mind when I didn’t think I’d make it around him before the finish. Troy cross the line for third place and Toby Katz sprinted around me on the right and cross the line just a half a wheel in front of me for 4th place. I crossed the line for 5th and Dave Bryant for 6th.
Chris Crescoli had a GoPro on his bike a filmed the last lap, which includes the crash at the 38:15 minute mark:
Conclusion: Going into the race we still had a chance of earning the 65 points necessary to win the BAT title. When the crash happened inside of 2k, it ended our chances of winning the BAT title. I’m very glad that Gary and DJ didn’t get injured and very proud of our team for our second place finish in the BAT title.