Urbana Grand Prix – Cat 4/5 Report – Ryan H.
Well, my report isn't going to be as interesting as the others. My training going into the race has been almost non-existant so I didn't have very high hopes to do anything.
I planned to sit in the pack to conserve enough energy to make an attack if the team needed it later in the race. Unfortunately I never got the chance.
The course was pretty long so a lap took somewhere around four minutes. I slipped getting my foot in my cleat and fell back to the 2nd half of the pack at the start. About 2/3s through the lap I decided to move up closer to the front. I got to about 15th wheel and decided the front third should be safe enough. I also figured I could react to any attacks from there. I sat there rather comfortably for the rest of the first lap and about half of the second lap. Then BOOM. The guy to my left came across and I went down hard. I have no clue if he was avoiding someone else or if he just came across for no reason. His hip impacted my left hood which caused my front wheel to wash out, nothing I could do to stay up. I remember slidding across the pavement long enough to consciously think "Sheesh, I can stop sliding any minute now" followed by "OMG please don't run over me". Luckily no one did. After I gathered myself up and checked for broken bones I looked up and saw Jeff standing over me. He asked if I was okay, but I didn't have a clue other than nothing seemed broken. I told him I was fine as the chase moto pulled up beside me. The moto also asked if I was okay and called my number in to race control. After he determined I wasn't dying he took off to catch up to the field.
From there I slid my left hood back over to the proper spot, grabbed my water bottle from 10 feet down the road, and picked up my now broken Garmin. (It still works, the mounting tabs just broke off.) During the crash, my chain was dropped. So it took another few seconds to get it on before I could get rolling again. While I was riding back to pit, I was contemplating pulling out. But when I arrived everyone sprung into action. Drew grabbed my bike and checked it over. The race official took a look at my leg, ripped off my dangling number, and walked me over to the roll-in spot. By then Drew had my bike under me and the field was quickly approaching start/finish. I think Drew expected me to hop up and clip in while he held up my bike, but having never crashed/rolled back in before I was sort of confused what to do. By the time I got rolling, the field had already passed. I caught them about 1/3rd into the lap but was gassed. I hung on the back for the rest of the lap and 1/2 through the next but the accordion effect was killing me. I finally sat up and decided to just ride the rest of the race as a warm up for the 3/4's in an hour. About two laps after I sat up I was caught by a group of two, one xXx, and another I don't know. They either crashed or were dropped early on. I rode the rest of the race with them and we eventually caught another dropped xXx rider. The break caught us with one lap to go, but the main field didn't catch us until the final corner going into the finish. The two xXx riders decided to sprint. Not sure why.
I caught the team bunch on the cooldown lap and was slowly making the decision to pull out of the 3/4's. My leg was starting to hurt a bit more and I was realizing that my left arm was pretty banged up as well. I sat around the team tent for a good 10 minutes pouring water on my leg before I realized there was a First Aid tent. The lady there took care of me. It was then I saw that Ryan Linne had also gone down. He wasn't as bloody, but got a lot more road rash. Luckily neither of us had anything broken or concussed.
I guess the lesson I learned in all of this is to take a little extra time getting back to the pits. If I would have got there 30 seconds later I wouldn't have had to jump back into the race so quickly. I could have gathered myself a bit more and been ready to jump in the group as it went by instead of having to chase.