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The Paul Mach Blog - June 2012

Living life on the edge... of the road
Photo by Pat Malach

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June 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - Race Reports
Winner Winner I'm going to be honest, this whole crit series thing is kicking my butt. It's not just the racing, the crit squad is a different animal. Let's just say the stage race squad is a bit more sophisticated....

To recap, Sunday was another crit. While the field that finished was small, I was at the back of it. Monday was a road race that was kind of lame. There were a couple kickers that the crit guys would smash. You had to match it otherwise you'd get shot to the back for a whole lap.

Tuesday, yet another crit. It had a nice hill but I started at the back and before I got to the front the break was gone. Later I bridged to the break only to get dropped on the last lap. But I did pipp Bahati at the line for 10th.

Today was a mostly flat road race with wind. Using what I've learned on the Davis group rides we put a lot of pressure on the field. I attacked with 5k to go for the win. So that was 7 in a row for the team and it was finally my turn.

Well, back to hearing Max Korus tell us how Kopps makes the best custard ever....

Sunday, June 24, 2012 - Race Reports
Dominate So, today is highlighted by the fact that the left shift key on my laptop doesn't work. Try writing code without a shift key. Ah, first world problems...

Yesterday was highlighted by me getting in a move for the last 10 laps of the crit in Grafton. I attacked and Cole House came across. The funny thing was that it was a prime lap, but Cole forgot and flicked his elbow right before the line. So I pulled through out of the saddle and took the monies. Good times.

While I got caught on the last lap, the race turned out well for good old Kenda/5. Luca won, John was second and we had two others 4th and 7th.

Tonight we go again. How many of these are left?

Saturday, June 23, 2012 - Race Reports
Good times here in Milwaukee. A short morning ride, followed by some blog writing. Then we race. Afterwards we're high on adrenaline so we watch a movie. The next day we repeat.

Yesterday's crit was in East Troy. It was a new race and was just a half mile with 6 turns. So basically the only place to pass was by chopping the corners. That equals a sketchy race.

For me, I got off the front with Chad Hartley and a couple other guys. We lapped the field about 20 minutes later. I then tried to attack again but didn't have the juice, but managed to get the crowd prime. I ended up 4th since the sprint was cray cray.

Today we go again, another 90 minute crit.

Friday, June 22, 2012 - Race Reports
All right, so I'm in Milwaukee for the Tour of America's Dairyland. 11 days, 9 crits, 2 road races. This is my first full on crit series so...

Yesterday was the first race in Shorewood. It was a 1.3 mile rectangle. I had a good time. The break of 6 with 3 Kenda/5 riders went early, right when I got a flat. Then I spent the rest of the race covering moves and still racing pretty hard. For the finish, I lead out the sprint for our sprinters.

In the end, John won, Lucca was second and other guys were 6th, 8th and 9th. After the race I felt like I was hanging out with the High-Five'n White Guys.

Monday, June 18, 2012 - Race Reports
My day in Nevada City started off with yelling at Rand Miller for not updating his blog. It's like he thinks that because he's doing it for free and fun he doesn't have an obligation to entertain us. Selfish bastard.

Next I heard Roman call his wife, "Sugar." I thought that was unique and worth sharing.

Somebody started talking to me about Race Shape at the start. I always like to talk shop, but was a bit distracted by a race starting in 30 seconds. Sorry, send me an email.

Then we raced bikes. Lots of laps. Nate got off the front with Stephen Leece. I yelled at Chris Stastny's dad in Czech for not giving me a bottle. Insert derogatory stereotype here.

Later when Nate was about 30 seconds from lapping I dropped back to help him out. That was a good idea in theory but Nate didn't really need my help. We got back up to the field just fine. I messed around in the sprint and was 8th, again.

Lots of people came out to the race and there was a pretty good "Paul Mach dot Com" cheering section. Thank you very much.

After the race I chatted with Rich Paul, from Velo Reno. I'm ashamed to admit that I always forget his name. I mean, I should be able to remember a name like that.

So, another Nevada City in the books. This was my 5th one and you can read about all the others in the archives (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011).

Monday, June 4, 2012 - Race Reports
Roman, Andy, Jim and I all drove up from Greenville early in the week. We then did Basking Ridge and the Philadelphia International yesterday.

In between we stayed with Frank in Drexel Hill. He owns a little, one man, bike shop in town and was very excited to be a part of the race again this year. It was also kind of funny riding through greater Philadelphia with a guy that kind of looks like Danny Devito.

I'd never done Philly so was excited to experience this legendary race. However, this year they shortened it (from 158 miles to 115) and it rained, two new things in its 28 year history. The course ran through town with tight corners, a crazy climb and big crowds. I also like the dynamics of one day road races. Something we don't do that much off.

Everyone talks about the Manayunk Wall, a super steep 2-3 minute climb that hurts the field. I didn't think it was that bad. I'm guessing that was because I did it 3 less times and it wasn't super hot and humid like it's been in years past. This probably means I didn't get the true Philly experience. But I think I did, just with less suffering.

Currently I'm hanging out in the hotel until my flight later this afternoon. It's rough, half the channels don't work, others stop working after 5 minutes and my wifi connects to the hotel's down the street even though I paid for it here. Ah, first world problems.

Friday, June 1, 2012 - Race Reports
I'm currently on the Nationals to Philly Road Trip. Part of that is doing the Base Camp International yesterday in Basking Ridge New Jersey. This was my NCC debut and it worked out pretty well.

It's not often that I do the full on play by play race report, but it's also not often that I do something in a NCC crit, so here we go.

I started out near the back. That was bad. A few laps later I got in a little bit of a crash and took my free lap. Somehow I got put back into the front the field. A lap later I attacked and was off the front.

That was a 20 minute move that put me into the box. After I came back 2 other guys went off. I was still in position so I was going to try and bridge. As I was standing up Jim Stemper told me to sit down as he blew past me. He made it across and I took it really wide through the next few turns to slow the field.

So boom. I softened the field and helped Jim get a gap. But it gets better, in an exciting finish the break was just about caught on the line and Jim was 2nd and Lucca was 6th from the field.

The next couple days include a lot of hanging out in preparation for the Philadelphia International Championship on Sunday.

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