Tuesday, June 29, 2010
In Memory of a Champion
Everyone who dreams of upgrading from the 3s has his own reasoning. Some aspire to avoid the two-headed Burnham and xXx hydra. Others upgrade to brag. And others yet upgrade to kickstart the long and tumultuous road to the professional ranks
My reasoning was a bit different. I wanted to be a 2 so I could race USCF with Will Nowak (Verizon u25 p/b ABD). Three denials later, I’m here. And now he’s gone.
Racing with a champion—a Will—is an experience. In racing and the storm that surounds competition, you realize people are unique. Each reacts in his own way. Some under pressure crack, others become diamonds.
Will never cracked. But he wouldn’t want to be called a diamond. Simply, he was a racer who cared about his team more than himself and raced with a ferocity and hunger that only the SpiderMonkey (Ben Damhoff) could rival.
But he has gone and left us—something I learned Sunday when I failed to be him.
Following a painful and informative Dairyland series, I ventured home with a partial Pro Wanker North hit squad to Peoria for the IL Crit Championships. With the high-speed racing in my legs and Chazz (IsCorp/Pro Wanker) on my wheel, I was confident that victory was possible.
So I entered the race with some hubris, but I had teammates and intended to play my cards well—test the field with an early break, cover some moves, try to get into the break and leadout Chazz if the field remained together.
That was the plan. The reality was rather different. Will would not have been proud.
When I would ask him—after each collegiate race—why he went with every move, was always on the front, and raced so darn dumb, he’d say, “I don’t ever want to miss the break.” I never understood his logic. Clearly, one can distinguish dangerous from non-threatening breaks!
Alas, I was wrong. When the move went in Peoria, I didn’t react. In fact, I didn’t know when or
how it went. All I remember is following Hogan Sills’ (Verizon u25 p/b ABD) wheel one moment
and the next not knowing where he was.
Yeah, we mopped up the primes and sorta won the bunch kick, but we lost the race. In my first race as a 2 on IL soil, I thought I’d do Will’s legacy well. I didn’t.
But there is a season to finish and a man in Connecticut to make proud. It’s time I get to it and show GH what’s what.