As you may have heard Charlotte was not kind to the Panther team. After only 10 hours of driving (each way!) and setting ourselves up in a nice hotel, most of us only got to race three laps.
The course was like a large dumbbell, 1.5 miles long in total with two long straightaways that each ended in super tight four corner sections. But the tight four corners on each end was not where our team met our demise. Instead it was on the finishing straight, just 3 laps in. A couple of P-R-O’s were jockeying for position up at the front of the race (because we all know lap 3 is the most crucial) and took each other down. A bike went ricocheting across the road from one barrier to another, taking the entire field going 35 mph down. The crash was so universal that there was essentially a dam of broken bikes and broken riders blocking the entirety of the road.
The number of broken Zipp wheels and bloodied faces was pretty impressive. The joke going around was that all of the $50,000 of prize money for this crit might just be able to cover all the broken bike parts from the crash.
Personally for the Panther’s we broke two bikes. I did a 30 mph endo that resulted in just a bit of road rash. Anyway, so much for that weekend.
Last weekend were a few low key crits in Downtown Indy.On Saturday all 3 of us got into a 12 man break that quickly lapped the field. It was a pretty standard run into the finish after that. We didn’t quite get it lined up and Eric Young attacked on the back side on the last lap and got a gap. I rolled in just in front of Kirk for 2nd and 3rd, Ryan was also up there 6th.
Sunday was super hot, I made it into a 4 person group with Eric Young,
Jon Jacob and Greg Strock that lapped the field. In the final laps we started attacking again and split the field down to just 7. Jonathan Jacob attacked and got a gap with 1.5 laps to go, Greg Strock jumped right away and I got on his wheel. I took a pull but Greg didn’t pull
through after that claiming “JJ deserves this one”, so I pulled the last lap so Eric wouldn’t catch us and got beat in the sprint ending up 3rd. I never knew bike racing was such a gentleman’s sport, I guess the end of the season burn out hits everyone differently.