I don’t usually write race reports because who wants to hear about how I got 5th. On Sunday I won the State Criterium Cat 3 race, so here comes a very brief race report.
On the start line there was about 80+ guys. All the cat 3 dudes came out of the wood work for this one. I was a little nervous when I heard someone say it was their first race of the season. I did my best to stay away from this one as he wobbled around the course.
So this race was a criterium or crit. Basically a crit is a bike race that consists of many short laps around a city block, or more often a business campus. One lap can be anywhere from a half mile to about a mile and a half.
This particular race was a mile circuit; set for an hour and I think it was 26-27 laps. As the race goes on people that fall off the back of the main group get pulled so they aren’t in the way of the group when it comes around. Getting dropped sucks.
Ok, back to the race. There were some early attacks and people were having some fun. I made a big move up the little hill and through the last left turn. I wanted to see how that turn handled at high speed. My plan was to execute this move if the race stayed together and came down to a sprint. Nobody came with me when I jumped, so I held it for a lap and went back into the fold.
There were countless moves, although no significant breaks developed. I had a feeling somone was going to make a big move in the second half of the race in an attempt to breakaway from the field. Most often people who know they can put in big 20min efforts will attempt to get away at this point. The field will sometimes let something go because they get tired and its kinda far from the end of the race. Sometimes it sticks, but try it too close to the end of the race and the break is getting chased down.
Anyway, some guys went up the road and the race got strung out. I was happy because when the race goes fast it’s usaly safer. I was holding tight and not too sure if the race would stay together. Without a team working for me I just have to hope the other guys unknowingly help me out. Don’t get me wrong, I like going up the road, but when nobody goes with me and without a team I have to pick and choose my battles, and get lucky.
On the last lap, just in case the riders aren’t paying attention to the lap cards, the officials ring a bell. With one lap to go I was feeling good and riding in 20th position I think. We went around the back side of the course and got to the little hill. The right side of the road was open so I ripped past the field just before the wave of riders crashed to the right side. I ripped through the last hard left turn. I knew that I had gaped the field and the last little chicane was going to have them all searching for a line. I just went straight through with my legs burning and my heart going 200bps. My legs stopped wanting to turn over and they were hot on my tail.
It was a good day.