Archive for February, 2010

המצב … (hebrew, for “the situation”)

February 15, 2010

Hey ECCC! This blog will chronicle my time racing in Israel and hopefully will keep my mind off the fact that I won’t have the  pleasure to see Kyle Bruley (http://huggingtheturns.blogspot.com) race his last season with BU!

I know Kyle, I'm sad too

אכשב, המצב שלי (now, my situation…).  I’ve been in Israel about a month now, and after struggling to put together a bike with many frustrated conversations in broken Hebrew and English, I am back on my training schedule.  This schedule has been modified slightly to include daily trips to the cycling federation where I have spent countless hours arguing about my insurance, USA cycling license, category, and UCI card. They even made me go to clinic and run on a treadmill with electrodes all over my body to make sure that I wasn’t going to die of a heart attack…

After all of this בלגן (commotion) I managed to convince them to let me race in the sport class due to my lack of affiliation with an Israeli cycling team (in Israel there is Sport, a mix of cat. 5, 4, and 3, and there is Elite, cat. 1 and 2). So after some more arguing with a race promoter I ended up registered to race in the first race of the season, the Haifa Criterium.

I googled the race, got in touch with some family friends to stay with and ended up on a bus to take me half way to Haifa where I would ride the rest of the way by the coast.

Eventually made it to the famous Bahai gardens near the center of Haifa which were truly beautiful and atop a very hard climb.

The next day I headed to the race and after some more confusion with registration I got to the start right on time. Although I speak Hebrew pretty well, the prerace instructions were extremely confusing and utilized a lot of  biking vocabulary that I didn’t understand. After the start and the first two laps I hear the bell for a prime sprint. Thinking only about my dwindling supply of gels and cytomax (hoping for some sort of prize), I launched an ineffective breakaway mid lap and got pulled back into the pack leaving me with third after a hard bunch sprint. I wasn’t sure if this meant anything as I did not understand if there were prime prizes or how many places they were taking on the primes.

After hearing the bell a second time on the sixth lap I asked the rider next to me what was going on with the sprint laps. I listened to his answer in Hebrew and recognized only a few words including  נקודות (points) and שלוש   (three). It was a points race… ok.  The next sprint was contested pretty strongly as well, leaving me in fourth place on the line.

the guy behind me was not amused by my sprinting...

The pack was splintered after this sprint so I tried to launch a breakaway with the guy who took first the last sprint. At the end of the lap four of us had twenty meters on the peloton. This was a short lived gap, as no one wanted to work whatsoever! I tried to motivate the group by yelling choice words at them in Hebrew, but it worked as well as my memorable “motivational” yelling helped Preston and I during the Yale criterium…

 

All in all the race came to an end after 55km of racing and some fun sprints.

I was bummed because it seemed that I had gotten fourth place and would not make the podium. Interestingly enough, no one announced the podiums for my category and only did masters, juniors and women. Confused I asked one of the other racers what was going on and he explained that there was a miscalculation in our race. After a few minutes they called up the podium for my race and I ended up getting called up for third! Woo!

Up next, my first race with the Pro/Elites in Israel at the Eilat road race, TT and criterium with a brand new team!