I posted this on our team website so I'll copy it over here as well. If you raced in Columbus last Sat., feel free to post about your race here.
Thought I'd write up a race report on my State Championship Crit, if
for no other reason than to just get my thoughts straight and help
me to remember my leasons learned.
If you don't count a handfull of training crits and TT's, this was
my 4th start. Counting all the zig-zags, the course had a total of
8 turns, one being a 180 degree hairpin. By far, this was the
funnest course that I've road. The pavement was in good shape and
you could really let it fly, lots of fun.
The Cat 3-4 race was just before mine (cat 5). They were running
about a half an hour behind at the end the 3-4's so I only got to
see the course for 1 lap. As I came up to the line most of the
field was already lined up. CRAP! I wanted to be up front. They
had left a lane for the warming down riders to slip through so I
just took that and parked on the line.
My goals were to stay up in the top 5 or 6, be in front of the wreck
and then find a good wheel to follow on the last lap.
Our race was supposed to only be 20 laps, so I knew the pace would
be high. I was hoping to hang on but knew it would be hard as all
these guys have been racing all year, were as I've just been racing
for a month or so. At the line they anounced that our race was
being shortened to only 12 laps. Oh great! An all out sprint!
I got a good start and in corner #1 I found myself on the front. I
went ahead and stayed in the lead for the first lap and a half. I
figured I was getting good TV time for the team
. I was really
focusing on hitting the corners hard and speeding up on the entry,
hoping compound the accordian affect in the back. I thought if I
had to work up front, might as well try and make them work some in
I stayed up in the top 5 through about lap 5 or 6. Then it
happened. Going though one of the corners, I hear a hard pedal
strike behind me and off to the outside. This was followed by some
chattering and then BOOM!!, sounded like a bomb went off. I've
always herd that a tire exploding was loud but this was the first
time I've ever herd one.
At this point, someone right in front of me started yelling "GO GO
GO!!". So we went went went, really hard hard hard. The pace was
real crazy for 2 laps. After that I was in around 12th and hurting
pretty bad. I was kicking myself for staying up front earlier. The
good thing was I was last in line and we had a half a lap lead on
the rest of the field. For the next few laps I was in my own
personal hell. I knew I was about to sit up but I just kept telling
myself "one more corner". I'd stay on for that corner and then tell
myself agian "just one more corner".
With 2 laps left I started to feal a little better, but I was still
hurting pretty bad. I floated between 10th and 12th coming into the
last lap. I pick my wheel, a guy named Matt from Team Dayton. Matt
is a big linebaker type, he goes over 200 lbs and he's strong. Half
a lap to go and I'm last in line right on Matt's wheel. I'm seeing
stars and just want it to be over.
Matt starts moving up and I follow. Some skinny kid tries to force
Matt over to the left alittle, Matt lowers his shoulder and pushes
this kid about 6 feet to the right. I freaked out a little cause I
thought they were going to go down right in front of me. I fell off
Matts wheel a little and then we were in the last corner. I gave it
everything I had and started picking off riders one by one. I
couldn't get back to Matt, he finished a full bike in front of me in
5th, I got 7th. I had nothing left and had to really focus on
staying upright and holding a line until I could catch my breath.
All in All I'm happy with the result. I wish I wouldn't have been
on the front so much early in the race. Also I think next year my
fittness will be more on par with everyone elses. My H.R. avg. was
175 and I had a new all time max of 192. For some reason my throat
was really sore for about 24 hrs. Must of been because I didn't
drink anything during the race. I don't see how them guys can
drink. I tried to take a small sip but I just choked on it.
Well sorry this got so long. I really did have fun, even through
all the suffering. I can't imagine what it will be like to do
longer races when I cat up. Hopefully they'll sit up from time to
time to give me a rest.