Tuesday evening most of the POA Cycling Team met for our preseason planning meeting. It was pretty cool to see the guys sitting around the table. There was a lot of power represented… and even more power didn’t show up due to other conflicts. It is going to be a good year!
The Masters 35+ crew is going to wreck havoc during the season. Thomas Smith, Rodney Dender, Darin Marhanka, Cleve Blackwell, and the rest of the crew are going to be tough to beat. I’m hoping I’ll have some opportunities during the season to help them out a bit.
However, for the first races of the season, I find myself with the Category 3 crew. Mark Caskey, Reece Jackson, Phil Humbert, Phil Ball, and I will be carrying the banner in those races. There will also be some guys representing the team in the Category 4 field. It would be pretty cool if we could place riders in the lead for each group.
This does change things for me a bit. I came into this season thinking that I would be riding in support of the Masters team. It is some tough racing, but the distances are a bit shorter than the Category 1/2 and the Category 3 races. Also, in the Masters field I am near the bottom of the totem pole and there wouldn’t be much expectations that I would play an integral role in the strategy — with eight or nine POA guys lining up for a race.
Now, I’m one of a fewer number of riders. The expectations rise a bit. Sounds like Phil Ball has been getting his legs with Mark and Reece always ready to be in the mix. Phil Humbert is the new man, but we all know his abilities and he adds to the Cat 3 threat from POA. So, to get one of those guys across the line, I have to consider myself an important part of the plan.
I had better get to work! The first race of the season is February 19th and the distance is 7 laps around the Donaldson Center course. That will be about 50 miles are race pace. Ay yi yi!
The second race is at the BMW Performance Center Test Track and is much more like a criterium race. We’ll be putting the rubber down for 50 minutes plus 2 laps. This could be the toughest of the two as it will mean more accelerations and I haven’t been doing a lot of those lately!
The good news is. 1) I have a great team and the regardless which category I race in, I’ll have to pleasure of racing with and supporting potential winners. 2) Starting out in the Category 3 field gives me something to aim for. It gives me more confidence that I can actually play a significant role.
So, it is back on the bike to do what I can to be ready to help my team. I’m certain that in the long run, it is going to help me most of all. I’m looking forward to 2011.