Walla Walla!?!?!

25 04 2008

Like I’ve said before, it has been a whirlwind of racing these last couple weeks.                                                              

Before It gets too far out, I want to say CONGRATS to Jeff Nettles for a Top-Five in the Crit, and Carl Hulit for decimating the Cat 4 Crit at Walla Walla. In doing so, he securing 5th overall at the Tour of Walla Walla!

Not bad Carl, not bad at all. Rumour-mill has it that a certain RCR team member by this same name is mighty close to his Upgrade to Cat 3 as well.


Here is Carl’s take on the whole weekend at Wild, windy Walla Walla! (that’s fun to type!). 

A sizable crew of RCR racers headed over the mountains to find sun, cold temps and fast bike racing in the Tour of Walla Walla.  Seven riders made the trip. Nick Adsero, Jason Edens, Jeff Nettles and Brian Warlchez in the 3s, with Aaron Coombs, Carl Hulit (ME) and Josh Simpson in the 4s. 

Jason started off the weekend with a solid 7th place in the Kellogg Hollow road race. The rest of the team pre road the TT course on our new Raleigh TT bikes and concluded that deep wheels + winds = no fun
Sat morning gave us sunny skies coupled with mid 30s temps (Lame). I was the first up and put down a solid effort and got 7th for the stage. Aaron was next up, and found himself suffering and undergeared with his junior setup.  Last of the 4s was Josh, who put in a solid effort. In the 3s Nick Adsero put down the fast time of the team, placing in the 30’s out of 100 or so, with Brian, Jeff and Jason as midpack finishers. 

After some lunch and rest it was time for the road race. The 4s race was 60 miles featuring one short then 1 long loop, taking us over the 2 major climbs twice each. Nothing amazing happened until Lap 2. At the first of the big climbs with about 15 miles to go, a small break formed and got a minute or so up the road.  Some of the GC contenders from Whitman organized a chase group that I joined and sat on, thinking about the big climb ahead. 

We hit the finishing slope and Kentner, from friendly team Second Ascent set the pace up the hill. After 3km of suffering we had caught one of the leaders and lost one or two other guy. I came in 8th, finishing within a minute of the leaders before collapsing on the side of the road Josh finished solo a few minutes later, after trying to help Aaron to the finish, who finished solo a bit after Josh.  After racing we headed to the pasta dinner and chowed down while waiting for the 3s to finish.  After the road race I was sitting 6th on the GC about 1 minute back and 7 seconds out of 5th.

In the 3s, the second-hand report is that Nick was hanging with the pack and ready to do some damage on the final climb when his rear wheel broke a spoke, and left him to limp home with a brake rubbing.  Jeff and Brian both finished on their own, alone in the pain-cave.  Jason had enough and called it a day.

Sun: The CAT 4 crit went off at 10 with about 65 of the 100 original racers on the start line with Josh and I. I had a mission to get top 5 GC and the best option was to take the 10 second time bonus for winning the crit. After laying low for most of the race, I moved to the front with about 4 laps left.  No-one tried to go off the front, and I sat 4th wheel through the penultimate lap (Nice!).  After corner 1 riders started to accelerate and I took advantage to move up to third wheel. About 3/4 of the way to corner 6 I swung wide and put the hammer down, accelerating through the final corner and coming across the line with about a bike-length for a perfect sprint finish. Josh came in with the pack. After the numbers had been tallied, it was confirmed that I had moved to 5th Overall!

The 3s took to the course at noon-ish, so the sun had bumped the temp a bit. The pace was high but again no major crashes were seen.  Brian, Jeff and Nick all stayed with the pack in some tight racing, and tried to set themselves up for the finish.  Brian got chopped to the back with 2 laps to go and coasted in with the field.  Nick faired a little better and finished in the middle of the pack.  Jeff unleashed the power of the calf and contested the sprint for a very solid 5th place. 

All in all, a great weekend! Wind, cold and all!


If you want to see more pictures of Walla Walla, Click HERE!!!




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