The Masters 1/2/3 race was at 8:20AM on Monday. Are you kidding me? I would have to get up at 6:15 or so on the 4th? I was debating skipping this one and just racing in the Pro/1/2 field the nice hour of 1:20 in the afternoon. It was alos only 30 minutes long which is too short for a crit IMO. 30 dollars for 30 minutes. I did NOT set an alarm.
Morning came fast and my wife nudged me at 6:15 and said, "Don't you need to get up?" I mumbled something and rolled back over. As I did something caught my eye......Sunshine!! I got up and saw that the temperature was already pushing 60. Might as well race. All my stuff was already in my car and I decided to just where the same stinky ass kit I wore yesterday...Sorry guys, I was just too lazy to re-pin my numbers.
The Matava Crit has been around for a while but I always seem to be out of town so this was going to be my first go at it. I got there and found a place to park. I wondered over to register and saw a line. I hadn't seen a line like that since the early cross races last year. Oh well, at least it was nice out. I stood in line forever and that is when I noticed they just run things "Old School" for this one. There was no pre-reg and took so long because they wrote every person's info out in pen instead of using one of those new fangled laptops with registration software. I kind of liked it.
I took a few laps to figure out the course. It reminded me a just little bit like a reverse version of Ballard on better roads. There was a slight riser on the back stretch and the finish was on a very slight downhill. As I came to the line for staging it looked like a carbon copy of Saturday except Garage had replaced Audi as the third team with a shit load of guys. I knew KR would be setting up for Flynn or Hainsworth but I wasn't sure what Garage or Farestart had planned. I was just going to do exactly what I did yesterday and see how it played out. We were told we would have 7 or 8 primes. I seemed like that would give us one just about every other lap. That could keep things interesting. From the start this race was a little different than Bellingham. The attacks were more deliberate. I layed low for a few laps and let an early break go without joining in. I ended up chasing it down. After KR took one of the early primes Martin(Fairstart) and Tom(Garage) got in a break with them. Three guys from the three biggest teams were up the road. I made an intial move to bridge but decided I wasn't going to be the only guy doing this so I sat up to see if some of the other teams that were not repesented in the break would give chase. No one did shit. I started to get frustrated and was ready to go when someone finally took chase. I hooked on and eventually we brought them back. Nearing the end of the race we were all back together and it was time to make sure I was where I wanted to be for the last lap. Again, it was not easy. KR setup really early and it looked like they were going to try to pull Mike through again. Just as that thought went through my mind he hit one of the two potholes on the course dead on and went down(he is OK). They still had Jim sitting on the back so now I was sure he was the guy. I tried to jump in and just like yesterday they were having none of it. I was able to get up in the top ten but had to fight tooth and nail to hold it. The pace was high going into the backstretch and for the first time we were pretty strung out on the riser. I came though turn four in 8th and once again, that is exactly how I finished. Back to back top tens...I was happy with that.
I was a little tired from two days of racing so I initially decided not to do the Pro/1/2 race later in the day. It was only 9:00 but I decided to hang out to watch the my teammates race later on. As the day wore on it started to get hot and a little windy. I was just having a great time hanging out. I watched Tina and Jill go 1st and 3rd in the 4's race and was getting ready to watch our Cat 3 guys go when somehow I found myself wondering over to the registration tent. I decided I was going to race the Pro/1/2 race at 1:20. As I signed up someone was complaining that there were only a few guys signed up. I thought that was odd but didn't really care. I hadn't done crits in one day before and I should have treated it like it was my first race of the day. Eat, drink, warm up, etc. Instead I was out in the sun watching the 3's race, didn't eat a think and had only one small bottle of water. I didn't even have my normal recovery drink after the first race. I just didn't think about it.
As I lined up I noticed that small number on the list was now 70 riders strong and every big baller in the area was here. Unlike the morning race where I was trying to win, this one was just for the training and experience. We took off and it was ON!! I was sitting in the back third of the pack and just cruising. We were five or six laps in when I started feeling like shit. I then thought of my lack of prep between races and wondered how stupid I was. I checked my pockets and was elated when I found a solo gel packet. I quickly sucked it down and continued on. The pace was super fast!! I was able to move up to get myself in the top half of the field. I held that for 5 or 6 more laps but then the wheels started falling off, not fast but I was slowing inching my way backwards. Going up the incline on the backside became a chore but I was always able to hook back on on the front side of the course. I was feeling shitty. I haven't felt like this in a while and was trying to dig for something to get me through the rest of the race. I took a quick look back and I noticed there was still a good group of guys behind me so I was still doing OK. It's funny how things had changed in just three or four hours. After a couple more laps I was finally strting to really strugle. It was now a battle for survival. I didn't think I was moving back anymore but when I took another look back I found there were only a few guys behind me. Things were looking bad. The next time though turn 4 I took a big dig and burned a match to move up. That felt good until we hit the incline on the back. I really strugled to hold my position. I looked back again and.....I was the caboose. Crap!!. I hadn't been in this position in a crit in a long ass time. I decided to give one last big push to move up but it was no use. My legs were done. I slowly drifted off the back and after one more lap pulled my tired ass out of the race. I thought I was the first one popped but my teammates told me I wasn't even close. A bunch of guys had cracked before me. Well, that was nice to know.....I think. There was still 15 minutes or so to go. I pedaled back to the start/finish to watch the conclusion. David R.(HSP), Logan(HB), David F.(HSP) and Dan Harm(Broadmark) had gone off the front. It was actually fun watching them try to hang on with the pack trying to gun them down. More and more guys were getting shelled off the back so I didn't feel too bad. The four did manage to just hang on at the end with Richter just edging out Logan for the win. I was completly trashed. I wondered over to the Irish pub and had an ice cold Manny's. I was done.....Until tomorrow that is.