I hung out watching the Masters Nationals today. The final day top 4 men's crit classes. What a blast. The 50-54 was the most crowded, maybe 100 or so racers. The 30-34 was least crowded. Which does not make sense, other than I guess the top 30 year old racers are not racing in Masters events?
I had a lot more fun that women's events, because fields were much larger. The babes were cool but they need more of them racing. Where are all you biker babes???
Anyway, excellent cycling and great athletes were on display. The 50-54 was gonna have a great finish. A two man breakaway had a few seconds on the field and then they crashed, sending the leader into the outside rails on the first turn of the final bell lap. I talked to him after the race. Looked like he caught a pedal on the pavement. He was pissed because he thought he had one more good pull in him and a lot left for a sprint, and since he was pulling through 1 and 2 and back straight and other guy was pulling through end of back straight & 3 and 4 he was all set up to win, until the crash. Which BTW the safety on the first turn sucked. There were no hay bales on the actual turn where riders would go wide and then kinda enter a narrow chute coming out of the turn on the outside. I can't believe the officials set it up that way. Anyway I didn't see anyone carted off in ambulances so hopefully it was just skin and gravel and no broken bones in any of the numerous crashes throughout the day. There was another large crash on final turn on bell lap, too.
No wonder I never raced in crits when I could still ride fast
Most courageous dude was in 30-34 class who went off into the lead early solo and built a 20+ second lead on everybody. But he ran out of gas and I think may have even been lapped at very end. I mean he had a 14 or so second lead riding solo for more than half the race. That dude has some serious talent. And courage.
The next to last age group of the day was a great lesson in tactics. Three guys went off the front and actually pulled in behind the entire field and then sat there for the entire race, guaranteeing one of the three would take the top spot. How do three guys virtually lap an entire national-level field of racers? That was some awesome talent in that group of 3.
The crowds really sucked. I think everyone except me was a friend or relative of someone racing - which made for a sparse crowd. The venue inside Churchill Downs was cool, parking was free and it was adjacent to the crit track.
Local Texas Roadhouse team had a first and a third in two of the 4 races today. My bro' in law the Ken the Cannibal took some awesome pics - very high pro caliber shots. When he's PS'd them we'll post some up.
Great day, despite the rain and sparse crowds. All in all the glass was more than half full