Brian Sullivan reports on his first win:
I had been hoping to get out to Floyd Bennett Field for the Thursday race series but things did not look good. When I checked the weather forecast that morning, the outlook for race time was apocalyptic: torrential rain, small hail, lightning, strong winds. There was even a flash flood warning. But throughout the day the forecast became less grim so I decided to go for it as it turns out there was no rain – just the usual strong headwind coming off of the bay.
During the race the pace was quite high. We were lined out single file much of the race. It was clear that the leaders in the ongoing race series were marking each other so I knew this could play into my hands and was very aggressive in the second half of the race. With about 4 laps to go, the breakaway group I had gotten myself into was caught, and 3 guys took off in a counter-attack. The field didn’t chase and they quickly built up a decent lead. On the headwind leg a rider jumped to bridge across; no reaction from the field. Once he had a good gap, I jumped taking a couple of guys along in the process . We did about a lap together – never very far ahead of the field.
As we turned into the headwind once again the main group behind us was still chasing the 3 leaders and it looked like we would be caught, so my breakaway-mates sat up. I decided to keep pushing it. The main group were begin indecisive just letting me dangle out there for a while so my lead actually increased.
With 2 to go a rider in bridged up to me. We worked together and started reeling in the front 4, and opened a bigger gap back to the field! Suddenly the dude said “I’m cooked” and sat up. It was crazy! Where you going, dude?
At that point I was in good shape – had a solid gap on the field, and the lead four were sitting up and looking at each other leading into the last corner. I thought I had a chance to catch them, but not quite – they sped up a couple hundred yards from the line and I cruised in to cross the line behind them.
It turns out they were all Masters – so I was first in the Category 4/5 race!
It was kind of a weird race, but a hard one, and my tactical sense to be aggressive and keep pushing paid off.
It was my first win ever! I’ve been second once, third a couple times, fourth, fifth, sixth etc – a bunch. Don’t get me started about 11th! It was cool to finally get a win.