Race Report 2010 Nicole Reinhart Tour de FCC

Tri-State Velo One/Two - Submitted by Steve Lehman

 

This weekend (July 17 & 18, 2010)Tommy Schubert and Matt Waller were home alone. That is, with Nick Roeder and Booey Hottenstein out of town at the Tour of l'Abititbi in Canada, they were on their own at the Nicole Reinhart Memorial Tour de FCCC near Allentown.

Saturday's races were held in the hills around the Rodale Farm in Maxatawny, PA. The three stage race scored on cumulative time began with a very challenging 4.2 mile time trial. The time trial circuit would be the same one used later in the day for the road race and included long open stretches, many short and steep hills and all served up on a relatively rough road surfaced with Pennsylvania pave', aka, "tar and chip".

Matt Waller showed his toughness, by winning this opening event just six seconds ahead of Tom Schubert, but 26 seconds up on third place. This put our two boys in very good position, one and two.

The temperature and the wind both picked up for the afternoon road race. Our pre-race strategy was to take turns attacking the field until one of our riders got off the front of the seven lap (29 mile) race. Once either Tom or Matt got up the road the other would just sit on whoever brought them back and counter attack just before the connection, a classic one-two attack strategy.

On the second lap Tommy attacked. Good news is he got away. Bad news is he had over twenty miles to go. . .alone. Matt dutifully sat on whoever was making an effort to catch Tom, but all effort failed. The race eventually came down to Tom riding up the road and Matt sitting on the hapless, Matt Voyer of the Young Medalists. With two laps (9 miles) to go Tyler Malay of Team Vortex got across to Matt and Matt, but since Tom was about three minutes up the road this wasn't alarming. Nonetheless, I didn't want Matt finishing below second place, so instead of taking a chance on the sprint I instructed him to attack his compatriots. Matt is terrific in the hills, but is the first to tell you he can't sprint. I don't agree, but an attack seemed the best alternative. The next lap around and with less than 3/4 of a lap to go Matt had put nearly one minute on Voyer and Malay. He was still about two minutes behind Tom, so another one/two finish seemed to be in the bag.

I made it back to the finish line in time to see the first rider bearing down on the finish. He was alone and wearing a Tri-State Velo uniform, but he wasn't Tom Schubert. Once I gave Matt his head all the energy that had pent up within him exploded and rocketed him around the circuit. He caught Tom on the last hill and they decided he should keep going and put as much time between himself and the following two riders as possible. This is a stage race and every second counts. Sometimes, well maybe all to often, cycling is a cruel sport. Tom Schubert worked so hard for over 20 miles only to come up short at the finish. Matt Voyer worked so hard trying to bring Schubert back while towing Waller, only to be attacked by Waller and then lose the third place sprint to Malay. On the positive side Schubert's effort set up another one/two finish for the team with sizable leads for our dynamic duo over all other riders.

The final stage of the Nicole Reinhart Memorial was a 25 mile criterium held on the one mile circuit of the Rodale Fitness Park in Trexlertown at noon on Sunday. Again, the riders were faced with very warm and windy conditions on this relatively straight forward circuit. We decided that with Matt Waller now sitting on two stage wins, a one minute lead over Tom and about three minutes on third and fourth place riders we could just marshal and control the field, or again use the one/two attack strategy. We decided to employ the latter. The objective would be to get one of them clear, attain a comfortable gap and wait for the other teammate to attack and bridge across. Once they were both up the road they would cross the finish line with Tom taking the stage and Matt the general classification win. I know it sounds a bit arrogant to assume they could pull this off, but they really were riding head and shoulders above the competition.

For eleven laps the dynamic duo controlled the field, but with 14 laps to go Tom Schubert attacked and got a nice gap. He was very relaxed, but continued to add at least five to ten seconds on the field per lap. After Tom had an unassailable lead (by the field) I encouraged Matt to attack. He indicated to me he didn't have the legs today, so I told him to stay at third wheel until the finish and give his best in the field sprint.

Tom never lost focus on the job at hand (maybe still stinging from yesterday's near miss) and rode comfortably to best the field by well over two minutes, thus giving him the stage and general classification win. Matt came into view dutifully sitting at third wheel with 200 meters left in his race. Suddenly, Matt Voyer leapt off the front of the field opening a large gap on the second rider. Our very attentive Mr. Waller and the rider on his wheel went around the gapped rider and were in full flight. I knew Voyer's move was premature, but hoped Waller could hold the field at bay. Well, as Matt Waller approached the finish line the field swelled on both sides about to swallow him, but with the throw of the bike the field sprint was his. What's he mean, he can't sprint?

So, after a weekend of one/two strategy and each stage providing a surprise ending our TSV boys, Tom and Matt, wound up, you guessed it, one, two. How fantastic is that?

Steve Lehman Tours, Ltd.
648 West Spring Street
Fleetwood, PA  19522