Vince Gee

Potential Headache

Here I am at Pro Crits here in the windy city. Actually it is not that windy here so I’m going to challenge that. My second to last race for 2002 was I hope to be easy and smooth. The gods are going to give me one more race after San Francisco for even thinking that I was close to finishing for the year. The bosses are contemplating sending us to Miami. I think I can handle partying……er…..I mean working one more race in Miami.
It is rare I get a chance to ride while on the road, so I try to ride a lot when I’m home. I even try to race a few Masters races when I’m home. I kind if joke that Visailia are my worlds because Redlands starts soon after and that is when my riding suffers if not comes to an almost complete stop. So Visailia is basically the end of my (limited-pathetic) racing season. This weekend I did a first ever while working. Frankie and I raced the Masters race Saturday. I think I can count on my hands how many times I have ridden while on the road but never raced my bike. My results were non to speak of. I think Frankie was 5th. There were two strikes against me before I even started. First strike was general fitness or lack there of. As I said, my riding season basically ended in March. Second strike was I did not want to crash. I’d look pretty stupid standing in the pit for Nationals the next day with bandages all over me. So, I applied a lot of caution and just hung out in the race and tried to finish.
Most of the riders were to arrive Saturday night after flying in from Spain AND after finishing the Vuelta a Burgos in Spain Friday. Robbie and Kenny were the only two racing the pro crit warm up race Saturday. I say most because Dylan missed his flight and was not to arrive until 1:30 this afternoon. He got to the race at about 2:00 or 2:30. I think he was trying to be like Lance in NY. Fly in the am and fly out that same night back to Spain. Although Lance got the cool ride on the Concord. So, Dylan was in the US for a total of about 8 hours.
We had to start with 6 riders because this is a UCI race. So David Clinger was one of the 6 even though he had severe knee problems. He signed on at the start and his race lasted two turns. He rode past turn one, and then to turn two and straight to our team van. He was changed and watching by lap 5 or so. Dave Zabriski crashed midway and seemed to be hurt bad but rejoined the race. Later on (after the race) he was really banged up but nothing serious, so that was good. As the field crossed the line with 5 to go there were no more free laps. Any problems and that meant they would have to chase. Halfway through that lap a huge pile up happened. It seemed like about 40 or so guys went down or got delayed. I was one lucky mechanic because none of my (few riders left for Postal) went down. There were some teams that were completely eliminated because all their riders were down. That really sucks. You could hear bikes and wheels snapping. I hate that sound. I’ve come to know a number of riders from all teams and it would bum me out if some of them were really hurt. I think most if not all were lucky and walked away. That could have been a potential Headache for me.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.