There was a crew of four that went down to the Twilight crit Tuesday night. Myself, Brison, Thomas and Kevin.
We got there with about a half hour to spare before the race (I like to have a little bit of warm up time before hand.) As we piled out of the ol' team van we were putting our bikes together, airing up tires, etc. I went to grab my checkbook to go pay and there weren't any checks left in it! (Doh!) Since about the only time I use that them anymore is for race fees. I guess I just didn't notice that I used the last one. So I made a mad dash off for the Made in China, uh, I mean Walmart that was up the road a few blocks. Grabbed some cash and made it back with about 15 minutes to spare. Crisis averted.
As we lined up for the start there were maybe 35 guys for our race. Which is a pretty good turn out. At least for the times I've shown up. The officials gave the usual shpeal and blew the whistle.
It was fast for the first 4 laps or so. No one was willing to let any shenanigans happen.
Brison and Kevin both attempted a couple of the early breaks. Which were all reeled back in pretty short order. Thomas and I were about a third back in the pack just kind of watching and waiting.
Did you ever have one of those days where you felt totally and completely normal? Not Great. Not terrible. Just plain blah?
Well, that was me. I couldn't seem to get into any kind of semblance of racing. I was never in the red zone. But I was never dangling off the back either. Even mentally. I felt a lot more comfortable than the last time I was there but I just didn't seem to have that top end kick that I had even 4 weeks ago. Meh. I'm sure it will come around.
About half way through the race Thomas got a flat. And unfortunately couldn't use my spares. He's still using 9 speed and I'm running 10. So his day was done.
In the mean time there was a pretty good crash. With about 4-5 guys going down and a bunch more skidding to a stop. It looked to me to be a touch of wheels after someone drifted out of a corner. On the next lap through everyone was up and moving so I assume it was just road rash and no broken shit ( I hope.).
We continued around and round for a while and with about 4-5 laps left the kid that has won the last two races in a row made another attempt (This was probably his 4 try.) to create a break. And Brison and a Hutch's guy went with him.
I was really proud of Brison. He fully committed himself and went all in trying to make this one stick. And for a while I thought it just might.
There was a Blue Sky rider trying to bridge. And it looked like the group was content to let him. But then another Hutch's guy tried to go with him and the group just wasn't going to have that. I don't really understand the tactic there. If you've got a teammate in a break why would you try and drag yourself up there if it means your bringing the peloton with you!? Just seems dumb. Made doubly dumb by the fact that I don't think he even knew that's what he was doing. Oh well, gotta love 4/5's
I think I was pretty asleep at the wheel because next thing I knew it was two laps to go and I wasn't in a very good position. So I moved up the best I could (Maybe to 10-12 wheel.) With one lap left. And coming into the second to last corner had some guy dive into my inside. I had to brake and re accelerate (Dropping me to about 20th.). And that pretty much ended my sprint before it even started. I really need to stay diligent in those last couple laps. I ended up 15th. Which is not great. Not terrible. But not great.
Kevin did well with 5th. It was really tough to tell where he ended up because everyone was straight across the road lunging toward the line. He it was still a good showing.
Brison was pretty cooked from his effort and cruised in at 22nd. I think he was a little disappointed. But I don't think he has any reason to be. He gave it all he had. And when not everyone is willing to work it's real tough to make a break stick to the end. But those times they do are great. He'll live to fight another day.
Oh! The warning on the winner was that he threw his hands up when he won. With guys bunched up all around (Sides and back.) him. It was a dumb move. I've seen guys get relegated for it before. He's lucky. I can understand being excited. And maybe he has the handling skills to do that. But who's to say if the guys around him did. It would have really sucked to have another pile up right on the line.
Next race is either Saturday or Sunday (Or both) up in Portland. I'd like to get at least one two more races before the OBRA Crit Champs. Hopefully my snap will be back by then.
Tomorrow I wanted to talk about a couple observations I made on a group ride last weekend. Until then...
Rubber side down,