by Jimmy Davis
It's early and raining but it's also crit racing day and the team is going to get there early to set up the tent. When I arrive Ken and Todd are there waiting, JJ, Buzz, soon the whole team is there as Gary shows up as well as Greg and Margo with the family in tow. Soon Fernando and Robert also show up, wow, what an IC3 turnout!
My assignment for the weekend is team support. This is good for me because I love being able to encourage folks... it's what I'm here for. After getting the team set up and everyone has finished warming up the races are a foot. Fernando and I pumped up tires and took the back-up wheelsets to the proper location (in a crit if you get a flat you can come to the start and put on a new wheel). It was a lot of fun watching the team race in the rain. I must say, I was glad that I did not sign up for that race... fast corning in wet conditions. Everyone did really well and I was glad to see IC3 representing so well. I also loved seeing the folks go by looking at our tent set up... we looked pro!
The next day I woke up early (around 3:45) because I was going to meet Buzz and then follow him to meet Gary and Michael in Rancho Vistoso. On this morning there was not rain but a dense fog covering Tucson. The fog was so thick that at certain points I did not recognize where I was. At one pint Buzz was behind a semi truck and I did not even know it until went around it. Once we got into Oracle we set up the tent and got ready for the race. When I put the extra rims in the follow vehicle I asked if I could ride support and they said yes.
Once the race started, things looked pretty good. However, the motorcycle was in the back of the pack instead of up front. This caused some confusion at one of the turns early on. During the support we had 4 chain issues (none involving IC3). One of the chains was broken and the guy decided to fix it instead of abandoning the race. Early in the race there is a long descent and the pack seemed to be happy just staying together. A guy who had dropped a chain chased down the pack by himself! Eventually we got to those 11% rollers and the first of several divisions occurred. You could tell the selection was starting to be decided. As the pack turned onto Webb (a place were the race is about 7 miles at 3%) riders began shredding off the back like glitter being scattered on the road. But the IC3 Guys were still hanging tough. At some point we passed Gary. He was riding strong not too far off the back at that point. Up the road there were a few rollers and more riders were coming off the back but Michael and Buzz were still in there. I was yelling for them to keep it up in my heart.
As we came into town I wanted to see how many riders were still in the group. I was able to eventually count 15 riders in the second lap. IC3 was riding well. Soon we were back to those 11% rollers and Buzz came off the back. We stopped to pick up an Aggress rider who had two flats already. As we turned onto Webb again we changed a tire for a Trek rider and pushed him to get him going again. This was fun from my vantage point! Michael was still in the main group riding strong. I could see several JKG riders in the group too. Suddenly with about two miles to go I'm guessing Michael attacks... go Michael! But he is brought back by the group and he sits in to get a rest (you have to at least try to win).
Eventually Branden goes to the front and begins to turn up the pace, the Aggress team is working for Big Mike today we are told from the guy in the car us us. I look back, I can see Buzz and a few other guys spread about 3 bike lengths apart. I wonder if they will come together. Suddenly I can see that we are coming into the finish and some guys sprint while others cruise across the line! Micheal takes 6th place! Buzz 12th! Gary 24th! It's a great day... after pictures are taken (no Jimmy in the pic) I rush home for a birthday party for my niece, barely made it by 30 minutes. Gotta keep the wife happy if I want to do this again!
Buzz, Michael, Gary, and honorary IC3 member Evan