Sunset Criterium

After sleeping in and watching the Olympics all day, prostate getting up and going to race wasn’t something my body seemed to be expecting.  I felt a little lethargic loading my bike on the bike rack and heading over to the course.  We got there with about 30 minutes before Karey raced, not a whole lot of time for her to warm up, but considering she got 3rd place and two primes, doesn’t look as if it mattered much.  Took a few laps around the course to check it out before starting.  A little hill, some tight turns in a parking lot, and some wooden ramps to smooth out the transitions from parking lot to road.  There was  sea of pink at the start line with a bunch of Gentle Lover guys dominating the field, and with the first lap the were starting to send off guys.  I went up with a few moves and made a few attacks, but just as I came back from one effort, Elkin made a hard attack that turned out to be the move to be in.  I was tired from my last effort but wasn’t going to give up on chase yet.  I chased for a few laps, but before long a group of 3 riders were working together and I was on my own and didn’t seem to be gaining on them.  I sat up letting the field catch me hoping to bridge up after I could rest a bit and maybe bring along some help.  A few laps later I made my move, no one hung onto my wheel as I exploded out of the down hill turn and through the finishing straight.  I had a lot of speed and I was able to hang onto most of it as I went into the parking lot.  I chased a few laps, and was making time and had cut the time gap from nearly 20 to 7 seconds.  But then the break started to pick up speed, shelling one rider and my gap started to get bigger.  Darn.  I went back to the back to accept a sprint for 3rd, or maybe another break would go off.  Before long the two riders had lapped the field who had given up any real chase efforts and was flooded with the ebb and flow of attack, chase, sit up, cycle.  After going through the field, Elken went OTF again and this time another rider went for his wheel, taking a little flack from the pack for going OTF with a rider who had already won the race.  I decided not to chase him down, which was not the best choice.  At 3 to go, the pack was still together, and a rider attacked.  I went with him, we had a gap on a field.  I pulled through and looked back moments later to see I had dropped him on my pull.  With 2 to go, I was committed to where I was and kept the legs going as I took the turns as fast as possible.  At 1 to go, the gap was still strong, and the rider clinging to Elken had gotten dropped, I rode harder not only to stay ahead of the field, but catch the rider ahead of me.  Going through one of the corners I clipped my pedal slightly, but it was just a touch and I stayed glued to the ground.  Down the hill into the final corner, and I began my sprint to the line.  I was just a few meters short of moving into 3rd.

All in all, this is the first race weekend this year where Ive actually come out of it making more money than I spent, that was pretty nice.  The crits were pretty good and Sunday consisted of an 80 mile training ride with a few efforts tossed in for fun.  Now its time to get ready for the Swan Island crit and the Oregon state crit champs.  Should be fun, and Ive definitely have some good crit fitness after this weekend of racing.

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