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Old 04-27-08, 01:11 PM   #1
branman1986
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Race Report - Athens Twilight Amateur Finals

I raced the morning cat 3 race with the goal of getting around 10-15th to qualify for the big night race and conserve as much energy as possible. For some reason, I was flying last week and this week I've totally sucked. Anyways, I just sat in and sprinted for 9th place, I could have maybe gotten 4-6, but when I knew I had qualified, I sat up.

Okay, so basically the biggest race of the year for me and the race I've been looking forward to all year is the Athens Twilight finals, assuming I qualified. No other amateur race I know of has 20,000-30,000 people spectating.

So right off the bat, I'm sitting 2nd row at the line(you have to be up front, or you'll be a nonfactor from the start) and the ref tells everybody to take a reverse lap and come back...so I do it, but everybody else does a half lap and rushes back to the start, so I'm sitting almost in the back. The horn sounds and we start going and I sprint to make it to about halfway in the pack. 1st corner of the 2nd freakin' lap, some kid with crazy bike skillz in the front and right of me, inexplicably loses control in the turn and goes down. My wheel gets caught between his fork and downtube(his front wheel tacoed) and I stay up pushing his bike along for a split second before I flip around backwards and whiplash my head backwards into the concrete curb.

Good Lord, I'm bitter. I find out in later pictures that the kid that takes me out was the same kid that repeatedly cut off the corner in qualifying crit when he was in the outside line. I'm amazingly lucky I didn't get hurt worse, the helmet is cracked, but all that's really messed up is road rash and I've got pretty bad whiplash in my neck; I can't pick my head up off the pillow if I'm laying down, but hopefully nothing major and it'll heal in a day or two.
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Old 04-27-08, 02:51 PM   #2
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Sucks that you took the time to show up early to the line, and then got punished for following directions.

hope you heal soon.
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Old 04-27-08, 02:58 PM   #3
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sorry to hear about hitting the deck. hope you heal quickly and definitely get a new helmet.

how long are these crits that you have to be 1st or 2nd row? if they're normal 20 mile or 40 to 60 minute crits, it shouldnt matter.
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Old 04-27-08, 03:14 PM   #4
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The crit at Athens hits around 30mph right off the bat and doesn't let up at all, so if you're in the back third, your race is pretty much already over. The finals race isn't cat 3, it's more of an open race, with the top finishers from the morning races qualifying...so it's pros & cat 1's up front driving the pace.
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Old 04-27-08, 04:10 PM   #5
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Heh nobody takes that extra lap ..... Glad youre ok (ive had a wreck like that and understand your pain)

MDcatV.... most of the top crits in in the south (Twilight, Soto, Sunny King, etc) are 100+ riders and so damn fast from the start that if you are not in the front few rows during the start you will get lapped.... This goes for CAT 4 on up to 1
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Old 04-27-08, 07:11 PM   #6
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Heh nobody takes that extra lap ..... Glad youre ok (ive had a wreck like that and understand your pain)

MDcatV.... most of the top crits in in the south (Twilight, Soto, Sunny King, etc) are 100+ riders and so damn fast from the start that if you are not in the front few rows during the start you will get lapped.... This goes for CAT 4 on up to 1
Baloney. I've done alot of crits with 100+ riders (altoona, kelly cup, CSC, Air Force/Crystal City Classic - all are or have been on the NRC and are technical as shet) that are on from the whistle and have been able to move up. I'm sure that's the case with these as well - exception being if it's an "open" field with Pros/1s driving the pace and 2s/3s hanging on, and not really in the race except as being filler. In that case, it's just a matter of not being as good as the other racers, but if fitness and skill were even, I'm sure moving up is feasible. Otherwise why would anyone who wasnt in the front few rows even continue?
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Old 04-27-08, 07:36 PM   #7
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I did several crits last year where the first few laps were around 30mph...... good luck making up a lot of ground when you are 60+ riders back and its this fast.
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Old 04-28-08, 04:38 AM   #8
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Baloney. I've done alot of crits with 100+ riders (altoona, kelly cup, CSC, Air Force/Crystal City Classic - all are or have been on the NRC and are technical as shet) that are on from the whistle and have been able to move up. I'm sure that's the case with these as well - exception being if it's an "open" field with Pros/1s driving the pace and 2s/3s hanging on, and not really in the race except as being filler. In that case, it's just a matter of not being as good as the other racers, but if fitness and skill were even, I'm sure moving up is feasible. Otherwise why would anyone who wasnt in the front few rows even continue?
In the actual Athens Twilight pro race, it's the same thing, they say the first race is sprinting to the first corner because if you're in the back third the race is already over.
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Old 04-28-08, 08:42 AM   #9
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In the actual Athens Twilight pro race, it's the same thing, they say the first race is sprinting to the first corner because if you're in the back third the race is already over.
It can't be totally true because a local I know finished top-20 in the pro race but started out mid-pack. Actually two locals finished top-20 (one was top-10)... I must say, that pro race was awe inspiring to watch.

Sorry about your crash. Looking at the picture it looks like another guy I know was mixed up with you. I had heard he was in two crashes in that race (he taco'd his wheel on the 2nd crash). Question: what bike was the guy who had the mad skillz riding?
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Old 04-28-08, 08:49 AM   #10
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That sucks man, but it happens to all of us sooner or later. Hopefully you got your crashing out of the way and can have a clean rest of the racing season.
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Old 04-28-08, 11:43 AM   #11
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It can't be totally true because a local I know finished top-20 in the pro race but started out mid-pack. Actually two locals finished top-20 (one was top-10)... I must say, that pro race was awe inspiring to watch.

Sorry about your crash. Looking at the picture it looks like another guy I know was mixed up with you. I had heard he was in two crashes in that race (he taco'd his wheel on the 2nd crash). Question: what bike was the guy who had the mad skillz riding?
I don't recall the bike, but he had a yellow & navy blue kit. I believe he's on the ground and obscured in the picture. And midpack isn't the back third j/k!
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Old 04-28-08, 11:45 AM   #12
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I don't recall the bike, but he had a yellow & navy blue kit. I believe he's on the ground and obscured in the picture. And midpack isn't the back third j/k!
Whew, glad to hear it wasn't my friend who's standing over your body.. He was the guy in the red kit on the yellow bike who's literally standing right over you in that photo. He was in a crash later on which taco'd his front wheel.
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Old 04-28-08, 09:30 PM   #13
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kensuf:

yates almost got shelled in the first half hour, having started towards the back of the group. he said any chance he got to breathe he moved up... and those chances to breathe were at 33mph.

crazy.
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Old 04-28-08, 09:40 PM   #14
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One of my friends won the Cat 2 race once when just the Pro/1's got to ride the main event.
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Old 04-29-08, 07:56 AM   #15
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kensuf:

yates almost got shelled in the first half hour, having started towards the back of the group. he said any chance he got to breathe he moved up... and those chances to breathe were at 33mph.

crazy.
Gary's a stud. It took forever to pick him out in the field but when we saw he had moved up to top-10 with only 12 laps to go and Brett & I were jumping up and down shouting for him (while looking for you to give you keys).

Awesome show, awesome show.
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