Monday, July 13, 2009

Friday night and in shock, but what fun.

Lining up for my first "Real Crit" in 17 years and my first ever Pro 1,2 Criterium had some real mixed feelings for me. On the one hand I know I am a better racer and much better trained (thanks coach Sean Gilbert)than in the 80's and 90s. I was a Cat.3 back then who could kick ass in road races and did well in time trials, but couldnt race a crit. to save my life.

So with the exception of some confidence in my fitness I still wondered how I would do. Well I can summarize how I did by telling you about my post race call to my wife on the drive home. I have known Stacie since I started racing. I said overly loud and flamboyantly into the phone "Weeell honey, GUESS where I was in the Crit the whole race tonight?" She replied in exclamation and we just started busting out laughing. She knew I was tail-gunner!

But a after good laugh and a flood of funny old crit. memories there was one fact that remained and that was that I left our GC contenders (myself included) high and dry by not being able to move up and stay up front. Matt was sitting 3rd after a great time trial and he had to do almost everything himself and he did too. Tris came up to help, but I rarely made it past 3 from the back. I finished the race while a lot of guys dropped out so for me that was a small victory, but in the end I let Matt down and apologized to him as soon as I saw him. I felt bad and still do.

The Canfield course was so technical that it was hard to move more than a couple positions in the corners (but easy to lose positions if you dint race aggressively, which I did not) then it was a drag race along the start finish up a false flat and yes, into a headwind all the way back to the twisties. I had forgotten why I always loved crits even though I was no good at them. Its like being a Moto GP rider on courses like this. Just a thrill.

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