The “Survive Alive” state bicycle racing championships on Mass. Ave. came alive Sunday for this second annual event. The weather turned fantastic as 66 riders lined up for the second NUVO/BAP Racing Series event. The 60-minute race — with a 0.6 mile triangle course and three technically difficult corners — challenged the racers with lap times of 1.5 minutes. As part of the bicycle race’s festivities, a check for $1,000 was given to the Indianapolis Fire Department’s "Survive Alive" program. The donation, comprised of proceeds from last year’s district championship bicycle races, was presented to the "Survive Alive" Program Director Aleatha Quarles (third from left). The top teams in the standings made several breakaway attempts before a group of 10 riders made one stick as the rest of the field chased for the remaining portion of the race. When the dust settled, Michael Sterr was the winner, with Declan Doyle in second and Brian Wire in third place. The most superhuman effort came when Declan Doyle, of the NUVO/BAP team, bridged from the field to the leading group. Declan later recalled that he pedaled 36 mph down the front straight and when he turned into the first corner the headwind really put him in a do-or-die situation. He then made his final push to latch onto the end of the leading group. All the major teams were represented in the lead group.
The Texas Roadhouse and NUVO/BAP teams alternated in blocking the main field from gaining ground on the lead group. (Blocking occurs when riders who have teammates in the lead group ride to the front of the chasing main field and control the pace of the pack by either slowing it down or maintaining a speed where no gains are made in catching up to leaders.) Riders in the chase group that have teammates in the breakaway group sacrifice themselves for the team, as they share the prize money amongst themselves after the race.
Michael Sterr/Velocity, who recently moved from California to Ohio, won the halfway point prime and, eventually, the race. Sterr’s strategy during the last lap was keying on the strong Texas Roadhouse riders. He positioned himself about four or five and was waiting for their attack. Luckily for Sterr, NUVO/BAP and Texas Roadhouse’s strongest sprinters were not in the lead group. The attack never came so he attacked between the second and third corners. Blasting through the last technical corner he picked up the sprint and carried it through for the win.
Declan Doyle was also keying on Curtis Tolson/Texas Roadhouse, coming around Tolson at the finish for second place and the state championship. (Michael Sterr, being from Ohio, was not eligible for state crown but first place prize money.) Third was Brian Wire/ Bloomington-Touchstone Energy.
Next race is the Eagle Creek Park Criterium on June 22.