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Valley of the Sun Race Report

A couple of the MCS racers headed to Phoenix last weekend for the Valley of the Sun Stage Race. Here is the race report written by one of our new Team 1 members, Dean.

It was a good time in Phoenix, tempered by just a bit of drama. Here is the play-by-play:

Friday 14.2 mile time trial

Lorenzo 9th in 5b
Matt 5th in 5a
BW 15th in 4
Dean 70th in 4 (need to drop back to Cat 5 – would have been 14th – Tough Cat 4!)

Great course, good organization, and great AAA service – I learned first-hand after locking my keys in the car after the race.

Saturday 41 mile road race

It should have been an uneventful desert course with a moderate climb in each of the 3 laps. Unfortunately, my front wheel flatted after the first climb, and the very nice “old” couple in the neutral support car caused me to lose 4 minutes while I negotiated with them for a new front wheel. “What type of wheel do you need?”, they asked. “A front wheel,” I answered. “We have a lot of different kinds – Shimano, Campagnolo, 9 speed, 10 speed. What kind does your bike use?” “ANY FRONT WHEEL!!”, I answered, trying to keep my “be kind to volunteers mantra” while also realizing I was now about to embark on a 90 minute time trial to chase the pack for the rest of the race. I finally got my new front wheel and got a Tour de France style push off – Unfortunately I was not yet clipped in (I was helping him change my front wheel – another story that I won’t bore you with), so he almost pushed me but left my bike behind…

Matt was in contention in his race, when unfortunately a guy suffered an apparent heart attack in front of him, went down hard, and Matt buckled right into him, bending his front wheel and causing some elbow and knee road rash. They took the guy away in an ambulance and helicopter – I haven’t heard how he is doing. Matt tried to get a new wheel from the support vehicle, but they wouldn’t give him one (they took the “wheels in, wheels out” thing very seriously in Cat 5). He then asked for a ride (he was 7 miles from the start), but they wouldn’t give him a ride either! Luckily our MCS support crew had already taken to their vehicles and were able to pick him up.

The Cat 4 race was neutralized at the finish because the ambulance was still blocking the road, so BW finished in the pack. Lorenzo had a strong 5th place finish in his Cat 5b race without incident, keeping him in 9th in the GC.

Sunday Crit

A good race for all. Matt was channeling some anger from the days before which led him to some prolonged “media time” out in the front of the pack mid-race, followed by a strong 3rd place finish at the end of the race. You can see his podium shots on my Shutterfly page (see link below). Lorenzo and BW also had some time at the front of their races, with BW scoring a $50 prime. I told him that my MCS contract stipulated a 25% share of all primes, but I still haven’t seen my $12.50.
Off the bike

A good time was had off the bike as well. The team was treated to a catered dinner at the Leisure World retirement community in Mesa, AZ on Saturday (that is a story in itself which I don’t have time for here). And then there was the search-and rescue operation across the streets of Tempe for Lorenzo’s dog, Koa. Throw in the fact that we had WAY more people and stuff than our two cars could hold, and it made for some more adventures along the way.

Pictures are uploaded HERE.

Thanks Dean for the colorful race report! The MCS Team has been busy this season with the team participating in races all over the SoCal/Arizona area. We had a great representation at Boulevard Road Race on Feb 6, even with horrible weather. The following day the men raced the Red Trolly Criterium (No women’s race available) in much better conditions. This past Sunday the MCS team represented well at the Roger Milikan Memorial Crit. Up next is the Simple Green crit this Sunday. Best of luck to all riders!
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