Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Race Report & Pics: Coconut Cup 2014 #4 - Amelia Earhart Park

It's been a few weeks but HAPPY NEW YEAR! Since our last post we've all been through the Holiday season. Some of us maybe ate a little more than we should, and some were more disciplined. However you went about it, this weekend you'd find out what everyone else did as it was Round 4 of the Coconut Cup Series, back at Amelia Earhart Park! Eric G here with our race report for the first XC race of 2014!

It was good getting the band back together this weekend. Alex would be on pit/photo duty this weekend as he's been dealing with a wrist issue for a few weeks now after a training crash. Eric Norris and I would be up for action, and we're happy to announce we've added a new member to the team in Mike Boyco. He'll be racing in the tough XC2 19-29 class for us moving forward! The Amelia course was fast as always and while recent races had not been met with the best South Florida weather, this weekend couldn't have been any better! A mild cold front came through and had racers with clear skies and temperatures in the 50s! A slight chill while you're standing around, but PERFECT for racing.

With more of us to write about now, I'll focus on our entertaining racer of the day. Eric Norris lined up for his XC3 30+ class which was HUGE as always with 30 racers. After a season marred with mechanical issues, he was hoping 2014 would be a change. Off he went with a clean start and entered the trail in the Top 10 and settled in with a group of about 4 riders. Midway though lap 1, 3 leaders had pulled away, but Eric stuck with the chasers, hovering in the 5-8 spots. Coming through one of Amelia's many high speed, high traction berms he avoided disaster when almost rolling his back tire, however burped some air and was now fighting for traction while trying to keep up with his group. He made it to the pits and Alex sprung to action getting Eric a pump to get him back in action. He set off in chase but had lost a few more spots and was now in 11th at the start of lap 2. He set off in chase but once again burped the tire early into the lap. He wouldn't stop this time though and continue with the chase, but sitting in no man's land. With no one in sight after his pit stop, but a big enough gap to the next racer he settled in to a solid pace and held his position, just missing his first top 10, crossing the line in 11th. Despite the bad fortune, it wasn't catastrophic and gave him his best result on the season.

As for the rest of us, were were pretty uneventful. I'm getting more comfortable in the XC2 class. Pace was solid at the start. I dodged a nasty wreck at the first hill, settled in with 4 guys, got dropped by the end of lap 2, cramped on lap 3 and lost one spot in the final 2 minutes. Finished 13th. Overall pace is improving, but the legs quit on me so I spent the last 20 minutes in damage control.

Mike lined up for a small but fast XC2 19-29 field which took off at a blistering pace. For reference, the Top 3 in the class were the fastest Sport riders on the day. He would settle in to his own pace and have an uneventful day, finishing 6th.

The Top Experts lined up this beautiful morning for another exciting day. Along with the usual participants like Bob McCarty and Allison Anjos, Michael Danish, who was coming off his victory in the Amelia 69, would join the filed. At the first lap it McCarty and Danish were the top of the class, gapping the field. Anjos kept it close and had a small gap to a strong chase group of Bret Whitman, Bala Almeida and Alex Zambrana. Lap 2 rolled around and McCarty and Danish had extended their advantage, while Whitman and Zambrana would make a move and separate themselves and close down the gap to Anjos. For the 3rd lap McCarty would turn up the pressure, putting down his fastest lap of the day. Danish responded with his own hot lap, however a few mistakes allowed a small gap to build. Meanwhile the chasing trio would lose one, leaving Whitman and Anjos to battle it out till the end. The two would ride together for the remaining laps, with Whitman coming out on top for 3rd place, his best finish in the Expert class. McCarty would slightly extend his advantage over Danish and come though for the victory with Danish taking second.

It was a great day to watch some exciting racing. We'll be back in action this weekend at Markham Park for the 5th round of the Coconut Cup. Thanks for reading along. Enjoy the pictures below and come back next week for another race report!

No comments:

Post a Comment