Friday, June 15, 2012

Typical Weekend in S.Korea= 9 Stitches, Crazy Korean Cycling Rules, and Missing the W by Inches!

10 June-


Where to begin to describe this weekend.  I guess I will go with chronological order.  Went out for a ride with the guys on Saturday and got in a great 3 hours.  Came back from the ride cleaned up the bike to get it ready for the race and then was going to head to the pool to get my swim in.  On the way to the pool I was riding with a new guy from here.  He is borrowing my road bike as his bike hasn't arrived yet and I was just riding on my commuter bike.  We were just talking and going along at probably 15mph or so.  Next thing I know he is going down on the railroad tracks and I am in shock that he is crashing on MY bike, and next thing you know I look up and my wheel is in the tracks.  Yeah, stupid move on my part to lose focus and take myself out.  I whacked my chin pretty good and had some decent road rash.  I spent the next 3 hours in the ER with an amazing crew of medical staff that took great care of me.  Alright I know you could care less about me, YES the bikes are OK ;)!  I ended up with 9 stitches and had to plead with them on how long until I can swim, it was the first question out of my mouth when I walked in there.  Originally it was 4-5 days, then by the time I left they found a source that said 24 hours.

After the stay at the ER I headed back home got my bike and caught the bus up to Seoul.  I spent the night up there and we headed out early Sunday morning to the race.  We knew there was a parade that we were suppose to attend, it started 3 hours before the race and was only 30K.  We got there in time to try and do the parade, but we were a little slow getting ready.  I had to take care of the morning business, Elmer was pinning his number on, and then one of our guys told us it didn't start till 10.  We thought it started at 9, so we figured we would just show up a few minutes late and do the parade course more less on our own.

Next thing you know they are telling us we are DQ'd, then they are telling us we could race.  It was really confusing, we argued with them that we showed up late and so forth and then they started coming up with reasons why we had to be DQ'd.  First was, "You didn't ride the 30K so you won't be tired like the other riders", our response, "We will ride the parade course and show you we rode 30K with our GPS". "No, that isn't fair".  Next problem, "You can't be on the podium, nor can you get prizes (it was just merchandise".  Our response "We don't care about the prizes, WE WILL podium in our Age Groups and we want to be on the podium".  There response, with no reasoning "NO".  All in all it was quite frustrating as they didn't want to budge at all.  YES, we were in the wrong, but really you are going to DQ us because we miss a parade that started 3 hours before the race by 10 minutes.  Korean Cycling took 1 step forward and 2 steps back this weekend.  This was there 2 steps backwards.

The 1 step forward they took was there was 2 road races, one was Novice (anyone that has not ridden in the Tour de Korea), and Intermediate (Anyone that has ridden in the Tour de Korea, or is a foreigner, that is an automatic nod that you know how to ride a bike).  In those categories they still had Age Groups by 10 year increments, which is still not a perfect system as it is hard to know who is in your Age Group, but it was a step in the right direction.

I would really like to see a sanctioning body stood up where they lay out all the rules and everything is the same at all the races.  It would make things much less complicated and you would know what you are getting yourself into before the race.  Some of the problems we have come across that cause confusion are: Is it chip timing or is it gun time? What Age Group are we using today? Is it mass start or wave start?  It just seems they are behind the power curve by a long shot, and hopefully it will all come together in the next couple of years as the sport is definitely growing here.

The Race Report:

The race was a 45K Circuit race with each lap being 9K and the total race was 5 laps.  We pre rode the course during our warmup and I knew where the move was going to be made and had told Elmer my thoughts on it.  The only problem is I didn't know how early it was going to go.  The first lap of the race was pretty un eventful, I just sat in and tried to stay up in the top 15 in case something went that I liked.  About half way into the second lap Mr. Lee, a prior teammate of mine and prior Olympian attacked just before the climb started.  I decided that I wouldn't mind working with him as I know he is strong and we could work well together.  Well I bridged to him and then about 2 minutes later we were all back together.  No one wanted to come to the front though so I just stayed up front and kept a nice tempo going up the small climb.

Next thing I know I hear Elmer yelling at me from the right hand side to GO BRAD, GO!  I step on it and look over to him and Hyung Mo attacking like crazy.  Elmer is the KOM from the TdK and Hyung Mo was 2nd place in the GC.  I had to work really hard to make it over the climb with them, but luckily I was already up front and was able to go with them.  About 30 seconds later the 2nd Place Best Young Rider from the Tour de Korea joined us.  I knew this break had a lot of fire power and I wanted it to stick.  I work hard and the others were working hard as well.  Once we established the gap it just kind of stayed where it was and didn't grow much.  On the last lap we really opened the gap up and half way through the lap I knew it was going to come down to a sprint between the 4 of us.

About 1K out it was a decent that then went flat for about 200m and then started a false flat to the finish, which ended up a gradual uphill.  At about 600m to go, Hyung Mo and the other Korean started talking some crazy stuff about  "Co-Champions".  Myself and Elmer were confused and were like "WHAT?", "NO WAY WE ARE SPRINTING THIS THING OUT!!".  I slowly picked the pace back up from 600m, and then really started to open it up at about 400m.  I got to 200m and the 2nd place BYR was on my wheel and I stepped on it there.  He started to come around me at 100m, came next to me at 50m, and by the time we hit the line he got me by about half a wheel, if that.  The timing sheets had us exact time to the hundredth of a second, and it didn't go any further nor did I see a photo finish picture.  Either way it was an amazing sprint finish, the best one I have had, even though I took 2nd.

Thanks to everyone for all of the support, couldn't do it without you guys!  5 weeks, 5 podiums and a whole lot of FUN!  Special Thanks to Honey Stinger, FRS, Primal Wear, HED Wheels, Quarq and everyone else!

Intermediate 20's-
Link to ride on Strava:
Results: 2nd out of ~30

Intermediate Overall-
Results: 2nd out of ~75

The "SPRINT" Video:
 Showing off the 9 stitches, rumor on the street is chicks dig scars ;)
 When they were discussing the "Co-Champions" and me and Elmer were going "HUH?????"

 Iphone close up of the sprint
 The sprint.........
 Yeah it was that close.  Insert immature dirty comments, go ahead.

 We took our own Podium Pictures, Derek took 3rd by winning the field sprint (He was technically 2nd since I was DQ'd before the start, but they still let us race)
 Overall Podium (Myself and Elmer were both DQ'd before the start due to not doing the parade, but they still let us race.  Yeah crazy huh??)
 The pink was showing we did not do the parade and would not get prizes.

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