Delray Beach Twilight Race
by Derek Wilkerson (BombHair p/b Motofish Racing)
Without a call up to the start line, my race began in the third row. In the first 3 laps it was crazy fast with everyone trying to move up all at once. The race was neutralized after almost half the field went down. In this situation, it’s safer to restart than have a huge pack of riders try entering the race after a free lap.
The restart began with 3 riders keeping their 11 second lead they held prior to the neutralization. These riders were able to maintain around 25 seconds lead until the SmartStop boys could organize and take back 2-3 seconds a lap.
With the field back together at the halfway point (40 of 80 laps), the attacks came one after another. A few small breaks never got more than a few seconds advantage.
With 25 laps remaining, the UnitedHealthcare team started to swarm the front of the race and slowly take over full control with 20 laps to go. Without any other team attempting to take over the front of the race, this was the situation as they continued to make the pace higher and higher every 5 laps. The fight was for the wheel of Hilton Clarke, who sat at the end of the UHC train. I was right in the middle of that, keeping his wheel getting bumped and bashed for about 90% of the last 20 laps.
In the final 3 laps the speed grew well over 30 MPH! Carlos Alzate took over with half a lap remaining and sprinted for the second-to-last corner. That burst of speed gapped me from Clark’s wheel and saw Shane Kline (SmartStop) and Rafael Meran (CRCA/Foundation) sneak around me as Clark held on for the win.
That’s exactly what I saw.