oh my wet... i didn't stick around for the later races. and bikeforums types there? this was my third crit and first win on the road, so yay.
the course was a pleasant flat 0.7 mile loop around, mmmm yep, ‘cobb
park’. start/finish led off halfway through a straightaway to a
slight incline and a 90 degree right turn. the incline picked up a
hair through an S curve and up to another 90 degree right. (the S
turn could be taken straight on without any significant steering, but
i could being squeezed into a curb very easily). from there it was a
wide wide open downhillish section that ended in a wider turn into the
this is where i will introduce the word of the day: wet
it was downpouring when i was warming up and i was quite glad i
brought my leg warmers. my read on the course is that the major
factors would be the wet and positioning coming off of the “downhill”
and into the turn before the final straightaway. the race was set to
be 30 minutes plus one lap, and a preme tossed in for good measure.
the race started with 25ish odd riders, and without much fanfare from
the race organizer we were off. i spent the first few laps watching
for people to stay away from with their inability to hold a line,
overlapping wheels, etc. etc. there was the usual jockeying around as
adrenaline peaked, and some kid decided to pull everyone for a good
five laps. then the preme bell rang, yippiee, it’s on!
i hesitated mentally whether or not i wanted to go for it. last race
i went for the preme and was left spent without anything for the rest
of the race. coming downhill the paceline split into a wide pack (as
it had the last few laps), but no one seemed to want to break. so i
did. i was about five or six people back and got a decent
acceleration as i swung around the left side. before hitting the turn
i shed a little speed, dropped two cogs coming out and hit it. i
heard a wreck behind me as i started my sprint (saw it coming) and
someone was trying to come around my right. i held on by about half a
the next half lap was spent ascertaining who was still left behind
after the wreck and me catching my breath. the preme lap and the
wreck had pretty much shattered the field. there were two guys up
with me (xXx and someone else) and a smattering of people trailing
behind. after a quick discussion we agreed to trade pulls because
with three people we were each guaranteed a placement if it held.
long story trying to be short, we traded pulls fairly well but i
confess most of mine were on the downhill so my effort wasn’t so
minute 25 passed and i decided not to go solo. our “break” was
working well and i was feeling good. then the bell lap. i was
sitting third as we came into the first turn and the non-xXx up front
tried to break on the uphill. it didn’t work and we all stayed close
despite another attempt by him to get free. into the final i was
sitting in third. out of the turn, down two cogs again and off we
go… the non-xXx guy cracked first, i passed the xXx’er on his left
and took it.
i couldn’t believe it… but wow, everything came together perfectly.
p.s. oh, and sucking wheels the entire race therefore meant sucking,
rain water and road grit. i didn’t bother spitting to my side, i just
let it dribble out of my mouth between breaths. it was everywhere. i
had road grit in my hair, ears, mouth, everywhere. yum.
p.p.s. i love my sram setup. percise, perfect shifting every time.
the sram neutral support guy gave me a hat and took my picture in
front of their car too. have to see if i can track that down.