LapDogs @ CHIN… Indy meets Rollerball!

Written by Rick Froner, Duke’s Cycle Cannondale LapDogs Team Director and Racer.

For the first time this season, the M2 team had a chance to race with the Elite 3 senior men, and thereby bolstering our team with youthful legs. Gio was the lone entrant from the LapDogs in the E3 category, and perhaps our best bet at a win or podium, as this race normally comes down to a bunch sprint. Edmond, Roderick, Michael Bandurchin, Mark Besednik and myself were the entrants for the M2 category. Also on the line were the dreaded Juniors, a rag tag bunch of miscreants with no sense of decorum or self preservation. We would have to keep a sharp eye out for these young punks.

For those of you not familiar with the CHIN race course, it is best described as an amalgam of Toronto Indy meets Rollerball. The 1 mile course consists of no fewer than 8 corners, some wide sweepers, while others are very tight including the chicane located directly after the start finish line.

We were expected to complete 45 minutes of racing before being given the 3 laps to go directive. The plan, simple, stay near the front and attempt to have a presence in any break that went away. IF it came down to a bunch sprint, the lead-out train was to make its appearance. Edmund, then Roderick, then me and lastly Gio, the Cavendish of the group. Sounds easy right? Wrong.

Right off the gun, the pace was quick. I attempted to make the first move off the front and was quickly joined by wily veteran Elgar Vaivars. We managed to open a small gap and held it for just over a lap, but the peleton would have none of it. More attacks were made by various other teams, with Roderick and Edmond in the mix with numerous break attempts. Michael spent the first half of the race learning the nuances of the corners, and the sketchy riders before moving up the field and joining the mayhem up front. Gio meanwhile conserved energy for the sprint by staying in the top 15 riders and keeping his nose clean. Mark, unfortunately, had some problems with his injured knee and was forced to abandon three quarters thru the event.

It was at this point that a small break of two riders somehow rode off the front of the field without one of us present. With some big efforts from Roderick, Edmond, Michael and myself we tried to pull them back, but to no avail. With 3 laps to go it was clear that the break would stick and we were sprinting for 3rd. With two laps to go, Edmond unleashed a viscous attack, stringing out the field to make it more safe for our lead-out train. The elbows were flying and the pack was on the limit. Roderick and myself got separated at this point due to the crashes and near misses that ensued. I managed to pick up Gio with one lap to go and tried to haul him up to the front for the final gallop. All was going well until two riders directly in front of us decided that they wanted to lay down on the pavement for a rest on the back straight. Luckily, we both just managed to make it thru the blood and tears and crossed the line in the top 15 in the sprint. Edmond, Roderick and Michael also all made it thru the final lap carnage unscathed.

Although we did not manage to make the winning move, or feature prominently in the bunch sprint, it was a victory of sorts, given that we all survived with our skin still intact.

Good job lads!

Ours Team’s Results:

Master 3 Men
Colin Mcdarmont – 13th
David Chong – 16th
Mark Montgomery – 21st

Elite 4 Men
Mark Van Doormaal – 6th

Elite 3 Men
Gio Piccollotto – 8th

Master 2 Men
Rick Froner – 7th
Michael Bandurchin – 15th
Edmond Mellina – 17th
Roderick Grant – 22nd

Elite 1-2 Men
Christopher Bradbury – DNF