It's nice knowing days before a crit that you're going to have stellar weather. We had that rare occurrence in the PNW where the temps made most locals think they were going to melt. Since Tacoma is a "twilight" crit we weren't racing until the evening so I had to force myself to stay relaxed which isn't an easy thing for me to do. Watching the Tour and a few naps made for a lazy day. By the time we left the house around 5:00pm I needed a few slaps in the face to get me going. Ahhh, now I'm ready. I was lucky enough to find a parking spot located under a large tree. Mark and I decided to warm up on the trainer in the shade rather than ride around in the heat. Blah, blah, blah, lets race!
I like this new course. I won the Masters race last year with a solo attack with 1 1/2 laps to go. We had a great crew lined up and I just hoped our team could get a repeat win. Our plan was to constantly throw guys off the front from the beginning in hope of establishing a break and if nothing else at least we could get other strong sprinters to work hard to bring us back. If everyone was together near the end we would try to get Mark the win. Mark was just supposed to sit in but when he heard a Sushi Prime announced he couldn't help himself and blew off the front to take the prize. Matt and Tom also won primes. KR basically had the same plan. Jim mainly sat in while Pruitt, Alec, Randy and company constantly attacked. Garage and KR were represented in every break. A couple of breaks that promising but Aaron(Peterson Cycles) and Gary(Tete de la Course) did a lot of work to bring them back. When the lap board went up we were all together. The pace increased and we still sent guys up the road but it was evident that it was going to come down to a bunch sprint. The big sprinters all moved up and Mark was right next to me.
photo one by Denise Phillips
photo two by Tacoma Bike