Spring racing in the Mid-Atlantic is notorious for volatile weather and racers with disparate levels of fitness coming out of the winter. The MABRA season opening Black Hills Circuit Race in Boyds, MD took exception to both of these truths. The sky was sunny with mild temperatures in the 50's and the field was strong and deep with a multitude of large strong teams fully primed for the 2015 kickoff. The Team Beyer Auto Senior squad, fresh off of last weeks training camp, showed it was fully up for the challenge with Dimitri Lemus taking a convincing win. With a long season ahead, the Senior Team walked away satisfied with the day and looking forward to what's to come. Thanks to our sponsors for their support!
Here is Dimitri's Account of the race:
The whistle was blown and we were off!!!! The MABRA racing season has begun! The plan was to stay cool and calm until "the move" goes. Which the team had anticipated for it to happen in the last 7 or 6 laps. Of course, this meant we had to control the race for the first 13 or 14 laps. I started out towards the back of the pack and after the I got my rythm going up the HILL I new moving up would be ideal. So a few laps in I was making my way up to be prepared for a move that could possibly go early and to be a little attentive to any potentially dangerous splits. For the first 1/4 of the race it was the World Champion of the track Jason Meidof on the front pulling the moves back and keeping the pace going!!!
Ryan McKinney, Mark Hyatt, Paul Mica, Dan Greenfield, David Bozak, Kris Stein and Brian Marchionini were attending to moves and keeping the leash on the breaks throughout the whole race! Exactly half way through the race a little bit of a dangerous move had gone off the front and it was a little scary even though not very many teams were represented in it. Mainly, I was worried about Greg Wittwer of PTS Racing and Maddy from DVR being up the road together with a few other guys. It was still a little early in the race to make it all the way to the end. Plus I knew if we didn't chase it back right away then one of the other teams with numbers would have to or some of the free lancers would want to attempt to bridge the gap.
So the chase was on and moves were going off the front and eventually the DC VELO crew was bringing it back! At this point I had been surfing the wheels in the mid-upper pack and got to the front in case I would need to counter or follow somebody’s wheel to the break as the gap was coming down. Bridge attempts kept going as Paul Mica and DJ Brew were being very attentive! A few laps later we had lowered the gap significantly and the break looked to be falling apart going up the BIG Hill. Luckily the patience paid off and my team had done an amazing job of keeping anything from staying away in the first 2/3 of the race.
Right after the break was caught counter attacks were going off the front and at one point at the top of the HILL it was strung out and Paul Mica had gone with a move and I was able tag along as DJ sat up on the front yelling to keep going. Definitely an ideal situation to have Mica and myself up the road together. The move didn't stick as the chase was hot! A couple laps later after more counter attacks and break away attempts, Mark Hyatt came up to me on the back side of the course and said, "You're on deck! Get ready!!!" What he did set up the break beautifully! He was on the front drilling it from the back side of the course to almost the top of the hill as he caused the whole field to become strung out! Hyatt had done his job and the accelerations had kept going and I was right at the front following. There was about 30 meters to go before the right hand turn at the top of the hill and I could see the carnage as it was only 7 laps to go! So, I attacked and didn't look back as I knew, whoever wanted to follow would commit. A few seconds later as I was descending I looked back to see who was there and it was just me with a little bit of a gap between me and a few other guys who were scattered, followed by the field a few seconds back.
I thought to myself, "This is it!" I put my head down and kept going, as I figured the guys behind would get organized and bridge up to me. I went up that one nasty little kicker right after the descent and then made the left hand turn and the Bike Doctor rider Pete Warner had made it. We started taking turns pulling and then Greg Capelle of Isagenix/ SeaSucker/ Guttenplan Coaching made it up to us and we had a solid rotation going. A couple laps go by and we have a descent gap that should hold as long as we keep working together. Then with about 5 laps to go, Jose Escobar of Harley Davidson and Steve Cuszie of DVR bridged up to the three of us. Now we all knew this was "the move" as every major team was represented in the break. At this point I knew I had to figure out how to win the race.
So, were going into the last lap and the gap has been brought down, but being a determined break, we knew it was go time. Honestly, I hadn't realized that the field was as close as they were until we we're hitting the big downhill before the BIG UPHILL 200 meter finish. I didn't panic though as I knew we could make it as long as we didn't play Cat N' Mouse. So, the Bike Doctor rider went a second a
head of the rest of us and started to hit it, which put pressure on the rest of us to not let him just go ahead and win. At this point I was 3rd wheel with Jose Escobar on my wheel and we're on the finishing stretch with only a 175 meters to go. The DVR and Guttenplan rider were in front of me and have no choice but to chase down the Bike Doctor rider right as the sprint would up. We started accelerating and it's not quite the sprint yet, but the speed is increasing and then with only 100 meters to go, I saw someone’s shadow on the left of me creep up as we caught up to the Bike Doctor rider and at that moment I knew I had to open up my sprint as Jose Escobar was on my wheel and I didn't want him or anyone else getting the jump on me.
I sprinted and went in between two of the riders from the break as I gritted my teeth and started making some growling noises. The finish line was getting closer and I just had to keep pushing and growling. I saw there was a wheel on my left and right still in the corner of my eyes, but then next thing you know it, I had crossed the finish line and I could see that my front wheel had clearly been first by a little less than a wheel. It was VICTORY!!! I flung my arms up and yelled "YEEEAAHH!!!" Then got back on the handlebars and let out a little whimper, as that hurt soooo goooood!
Thanks again to my teammates, coach and family for all the support!!!
It was a great way to kick off the season!!!