Racing tales from the great Pacific Northwest

Monday, June 28, 2010

Captital Criterium

The Capital Criterium was the Washington State Seniors State Championship crit race this year so Mark and I decided to race in the Masters B field. The weather was as good as it gets around here we were excited to get out there and race with no arm or leg warmers. We got caught in traffic on the way down and had to scramble to get kitted up, register and warm up. To make things worse, as we were warming up on the course, Mark flatted with only 15 minutes to go until the start. All of our spare wheels were in my car which was not yet made it to the venue. Luckily, our teammate Greg came to the rescue and threw his front wheel on Mark's bike......No pressure there!!! The course was a technical .7 mile loop right on the Capital grounds with a short climb up to the finish. We rolled out at 2:35 for 45 minutes of fun. My goal was to stay near the front, keep pressure on the pack and give Mark a strong lead out to the finish...easy right? Mark and I both moved up to the front right away. The back side of the course can get a little sketchy. It flows through a round-a-bout, goes downhill through a little s-turn. The road is a little bit chewed up and if you caught it the wrong way you would get some wheel skip. After a couple of laps I was able to adjust and picked a good line though it. We had six primes during our race and Mark and Dave from IJM had some good battles during these bell laps. I just wanted to be able to stay on the front and hit it hard going into turn one. Many breaks were attempted but none ever got away. The officials started counting down laps with 11 to go and we were still all together. With six to go I decided to get up front and put pressure on the pack. I felt really good so I stayed up there for the next four laps. We had three to go when the bell for the final prime rang out. I still kept the pressure on and stayed in front. As we came around the turn into the home stretch the pack was content to let me take the prime. At the last second, Greg from Olympia Orthopedic came by me to take it. In hind sight I should have countered so I could stay up front for the final two laps. A couple of guys got up there but I didn't panic. On the last lap I was sitting 4th wheel with Mark was right on mine. It was perfect. There was a lot of room on the final turn and I saw a couple of guys swung wide to try to get around. I saw this and decided to take the most direct path though to keep my momentum. I was leaning hard and made a mistake and started pedalling a second too early and clipped a pedal. My rear wheel jumped and I had to stop pedaling to regain my composure. I think this mistake prevented Mark from winning. I got back up to speed, he flew around me but we only managed to get 7th and 8th. It was a great finish for us but I think it could have been better. Sorry Mark.

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