The Derby Days crit is said to be longest running race in the US. Now in it's 72nd year it is still a huge part of the annual Redmond Derby Days festival. The fact is, I didn't even know there were other events that made up this festival. I usually get there an hour or so before my race, warm up for a bit, race and then head directly to the beer garden. Apparently there a ton of other things to do there. One of these years I'll check them out.....Maybe.
You have probably read my rant about the weather in many of my write ups. It usually stems from checking the weather several days before a race and seeing nothing but a big yellow sun. It starts with a 0% chance of rain and then rises to 50% or higher by Friday. Wait, am I ranting again??? I'm done (don't quote me on that. I will probably check the forecast as soon as I'm done writing this) and will just assume every day will look like this.
We made our way towards Redmond around 2:30. Sure enough it started to drizzle on the way over. Should I wait to register? Everyone says this course is dangerous in the rain. Shit, every course is more dangerous when it rains! I'm racing! It continued to drizzle as we warmed up on the Burke but it was not really making the road wet. Fingers crossed. It did stop by the time we made our way to the staging area.
I rode up to the line with Tom, Nikos, Mike, Matt and Kevin. The prize money for this quite nice and we noticed that most local teams were well represented and individuals like Todd (Guinness), Aaron(Peterson) and Rory(Trek Redtruck) were also there to make some noise. Before the race we all took a couple of laps around the course. Hey, they actually did remove the turtles in the turns this year...Thanks Joe! We didn't have a big time sprinter on our team lining up with us for this one so our goal was to constantly attack in hopes of getting rid of sprinters like Jim(KR) Rory(Trek Redtruck), Aaron(Peterson) and Gary(Audi). Easier said then done but that was what we needed to do. We going for 50 minutes which was nice. We've had a few 30-35 minute crits which I think is too short.
The gun sounded and we started attacking. We never let the field get bunched up for longer than a few seconds. Once the break got caught we sent someone else. If one of us didn't get away in a break we were at least going to make it a hard race.
I'm not sure when it was but it did start to drizzle again. There was a few minutes when everyone thought that the roads were finally going to get wet. I think we had about two laps were everyone took it easy through the turns. It quickly stopped and we were able to keep racing on dry roads....Thanks God!!
I think all of us managed to get in breaks that looked promising but none of them stuck. It seemed that more breaks got off the front in this one than our previous crits. Matt, Nikos and Mike had some good digs that stayed off for a while but nothing stuck. I managed to get in one with Randy (KR) but he didn't work with me and we got brought back after a 1 1/2 laps. Then, with seven to go I got in another one with three other guys. This one looked really promising. We stayed kept driving and with three to go I was actually thinking we would pull this off. With two to go I flicked my elbow but no one moved by...Really??? We have two to go and again found that I was not going to get anymore help. I kept driving but right at the end of the lap we were caught. I was just hoping that my effort didn't blow me off the back. I was able to get back in right as Alec (KR) launched in support of Jim. I had to work my ass off to get back to the front and ran out of time when we reached the final corner. Jim took the win! Nikos managed to hold on for 7th and I hung on for 11th. Not the result we wanted but that's how it goes in crit racing.