While the team was together and nearby for training camp, we figured we'd head down and do Sunday's Mothball Criterium in Goleta. Pretty much your typical "D" shaped industrial park course, around 0.6 miles. I registered for the 45+ 1/2/3/4/5/6 and the 35+ 3/4. They closed the 45 field at 75 and the 35+ field was near capacity.
First up was the 45+. Not knowing many of the players, we were treated to a dissertation on the many accomplishments of several of the guys, noting the subtle rainbow stripes and stars and bars on some of the sleeves. Pretty much your usual array of stoopid fit guys and guys with giant thighs. A bit tanner than the NorCal regulars but otherwise you could just switch kits and get the same feel.
We had worked on our leadout train the day before for our sprinter, my job was to go with but not work in any breaks that looked dangerous. Not knowing anyone I did a lot of that, as there were at least 3-4 attacks per lap and all kinds of reshuffling. Missed one cash prime by a half bike. Got in one two man break that I worked in for a half a lap or so but the horsepower was coming to the front so we pulled the plug. Two laps to go I went to the front to drive the pace up and string things out for the train, after most of a lap I blew and pulled off to watch the finish. We went too early and our guy was only able to manage 7th.
Rolled out for the 35+ 3/4 with less guys but a little better understanding of the course. Jumped on a lot of breaks, took two cash primes and sat on a gift certificate prime sprint that had enough guys to be dangerous (passed on going for it, the logistics of gift certs when you live 9 hours away are a bit daunting).
Last lap we had things lined up perfectly, with all four of us stretching the field. On this one I was the final lead out guy, according to the speedo had things up to around 35 into the headwind and launched our guy to a close 3rd. I was so enamored of the work we did I stopped pedaling to watch, had I been a little more lucid I might have rolled over the line in the top 5-7. As it was I coasted to 11th. Dum dum dum.
Great week of training and racing. We ended up with three podiums.
I smell race season. I love this team.