Sunday's Inline Marathon
11:25 am: Botero Interview: Tru-Rev's Jorge Botero said he decided to go it alone today to keep things interesting.
"The first lap, I skated nice and easy," he said. "Then after that, I was doing some breakaways. ... But (the other skaters) were just waiting for me all the time, so I just decided I would have to go on my own ... so it wouldn't be boring.
"The rest of the race I was away and then the challenge was the wind ... and the wind was very strong."
Botero skated the last four and a half laps alone, winning with a lead of more than two minutes.
10:47 am ... Recap: Tru-Rev's Jorge Botero took off on the second lap of the Texas Road Rash Inline Marathon and never looked back.
At the end of six laps, he was more than two minutes ahead and claimed his second straight win in the 2009 National Roller Cup.
The 33-year-old Colombian's time was about four minutes faster than the winner of last year's race, Luigino's Joey Mantia.
Bont's Justin Stelly, a U.S. longtrack ice skater, outsprinted Simmons' Rob Bell to claim second.
Simmons' Richard Cassube was the first master men's finisher.
Bont's Debbie Rice crashed near the end of the race but managed to get back on her skates and win. She finished about 12 minutes behind Botero. Canada's Candy Wong was second.
Botero actually lapped some of the pro master men on the 4.7 mile road course in Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.
"We were at the top of the course," said Asphalt Beach's Steve Larios. "And we heard the motorcycle coming up behind us and we looked back and we said, 'We can't be getting lapped.'"
But there was Botero. He passed them skating steadily. "He was cookin'. ... He lapped us — and he was by himself!"
10:10 am: Bont's Debbie Rice had a tragic-comic kind of day that included mismatched skates and falling about a half mile from the finish line.
The 41-year-old from Baton Rouge, LA, wasn't planning to race because she is recovering from bronchitis. But she laced up at the last minute when she learned that only one pro woman was competing for the $200 purse.
Only one problem. She hadn't brought her skates to Round Rock. So she laced on two display skates from her Bont booth: a Semi-Race fitness skate for her left foot and a Vaypor racing boot for her right foot. The Semi-Race was three sizes too large.
Once the race started, her plan was to tuck in with the master men and try to keep her heart-rate low so she wouldn't start coughing. " I luckily got in there with a bunch of big guys."
Everything went according to plan until the final hill on the last lap. "We were at a full sprint going down hill," she said, "and two guys fell in front of me. I guess they clicked skates. ... I tumbled for a long time. You should see my helmet. I'm all torn up."
She got up and finished skating and may be heading for the hospitals for x-rays.
9:45 am: Results (unofficial)
9:40 am: Results (unofficial)
9:26 am: Simmons' Richard Cassube wins pro master men. Alex Fedak is next.
9:25 am: Bont's Justin Stelly outsprints Simmons' Rob Bell for second place.
9:23 am: Tru-Rev's Jorge Botero wins with a time of 1:18:46.
"He stood up straight and just coasted right in," says Terri Waggoner.
Joey Mantia won last year with a time of about 1:23.
9:12 am: Botero starts his last lap. His time is 1:05:22. The chase pack is one minute and 45 seconds behind him.
"It looks like it's over," says Richard Littrell. "There's no way they can catch him on the last lap."
Asphalt Beach's Steve Larios is having a good day. The veteran skater is in the lead chase pack.
9:01 am: Botero's lead grows. "He's out all by himself in front," says Terri Waggoner. "At least a minute ahead."
Does he look tired?
"No. He reminds me of Joey [Mantia] last year. He just keeps his pace."
Four laps down, two to go. Total race distance: 28.2 miles.
8:51 am: Botero's a minute ahead at the end of the third lap. Justin Stelly is leading the chase pack of about seven skaters.
8:46 am: Tru-Rev's Jorge Botero is looking for his second win of the young NROC season. The 33-year-old Colombian world champion won last month's Squiggy Classic Inline in Florida.
8:35 am: The chase packs are breaking up now. Debbie Rice, who won last year's Road Rash, is in one of them, about two minutes behind Botero ... She's in first place among the women. Candy Wong from Richmond Hill, Ontario is a couple minutes behind her.
8:33 am: Jorge Botero takes a 15 second lead on the second lap. Chasing him is the Simmons' team (Richard Cassube, Ryan Chrisler, Rob Bell, and Alex Fedak) and Norm Kirby and Justin Stelly.
They've been on the course for 26 minutes and 50 seconds.
8:19 am: Five laps left to go. Race organizer Terri Waggoner says that about 200 signed up for the race this year.
8:18 am: Second pack finishes first lap. A bunch of pro and pro-master men including Jim Bourgeous and Ron Oswald. Bont's Debbie Rice is tucked in among them ... she's the first pro woman. Debbie, last year's NROC champ, wasn't going to race today. She was sick all week and worried about pneumonia. But get her around a race and she can't help herself, it seems.
8:17 am: Men finish first lap in a fast paced 13:28. Tru-Rev's Jorge Botero is in the lead. Right behind him is Cado Motus/MPC's William Bowen and Bont's Justin Stelly.
About 25 men in the lead pack, including master Ryan Chrisler (Simmons).
8:06 am: They're off. Pro and pro masters start about three after the hour; open (non-pro) skaters, three minutes later.
"It was a good start," says race announcer Richard Littrell. "It's our largest field so far for pro and pro masters."
Tru-Rev's Jorge Botero laced up as did all the men from yesterday's elimination races.
"There's a little wind from the north, so they'll have a headwind going uphill and a tailwind going down."
8 am: It's sunny and 57 degrees (F) in Round Rock. Perfect weather for racing.
Saturday's Elimination Races
10:51 pm: A couple photos from Regal Inline:
5:33 pm: Post race interview with Bont's Justin Stelly, who finished second:
"It was actually pretty tough," said Stelly, a 21-year-old member of the U.S. Longtrack Speedskating Team. "I thought it was going to be a warm-up. But it was more than that."
Stelly said he and Cado Motus/MPC's William Bowen controlled the pace throughout the race. "At the start of the bell lap, I went to the front."
On the second to last turn, "Will sped up and jumped on the inside. I sped up and took a wide track coming up to the final turn, but we both drifted out and I couldn't get by him. ... I threw a halk at the end but he was maybe a wheel, a wheel and a half in front."
5:14 pm: Cado Motus/MPC's William Bowen "pulls it out with a monster hawk at the line." Bont's Justin Stelly, second; Cado Motus-MPC's Ryan Wiederhold, third.
5:13 pm: Bell lap: Adams Inline's David Sarmiento is out. Very close.
5:12 pm: Joseph Burns, DFW, is out.
5:12 pm: Michael Ringer is out. Five skaters left.
5:11 pm: Randy Bowman eliminated "by a friggin' finger."
5:10 pm: The pace is picking up. Vaholochek (sp?) eliminated.
5:09 pm: Blocking called. No one eliminated. Seven skaters left.
5:08 pm: DFW Kevin Keifer eliminated.
5:08 pm: Pack is spreading out. "It's not a killer pace," Steve Larios said. ... Jason Metcalf eliminated.
5:07 pm: Chris Slocum out on lap three.
5:06 pm: Skater Quest Joe Weber eliminated on second lap.
5:05 pm: Simmons' Rob Bell eliminated on the first lap, hawking at the line.
5:03 pm: Thirteen skaters line up ... and they're off.
5 pm: Pro men ... Lining up: three Bont suits, one Simmons, DFW Speed, three Cado Motus-MPC World Alliance, one Skaters Quest.
4:58 pm: Morgan Williams wins the sprint; Tru-Rev's Jim Bourgeois, second; Alex Fedak, who did much of the pulling, was third.
4:56 pm: Men's pro master: Started with six skaters. Michael Garvin eliminated. Morgan Williams leading. Hernan Diaz eliminated.
4:49 pm: "Looks like Candy Wong won by about half a wheel." Renee Coffman was leading until the last few yards.
4:46 pm: Just started the women's pro elimination race. Two women: Renee Coffman and Candy Wong. They will skate three laps.
4:42 pm: The non-pros are competing in the elimination races now in the parking lot outside the Dell Stadium. "The pro masters are warming up now," said Steve Larios. "The sun is shining and it's beautiful."
11:42 am Sat.: Looks like the rain is over. That's the word from Asphalt Beach's Steve Larios.
"It's cloudy now ... poured this morning. The parking lot around the Dell Diamond" — where the elimination races will be held later this afternoon — "is wet with lots of puddles. But the roads are starting to dry out a bit. It should be OK by tomorrow" for the marathon.
The heavy rain caused travel delays last night. Steve was stuck for five hours in Houston and didn't arrive in Austin until midnight. He apparently wasn't the only one. "I haven't seen anyone here yet," he said.
The forecasts for Sunday morning is party cloudy — no rain — with temperatures in the high-50s to low-60s.
(Add your comments, observations and race notes below!)
Copyright © 2008 by Inline Planet