I have a hate-hate relation with this race as the first year I raced horribly and last year was the morning of the back implosion and subsequently warm up laps just made things much worse and that day was end of my 2012-13 season. Put on top of this the $45 entry (with no discount for a second race) and the somewhat of a grass crit with little to no technical skills required and it's just not my favorite of races (I will be so bold as to say it is by far my least fav I will do all year). But... now that my little rant is over it does bring typically a decent masters field and so I toe the line and will continue to do so.
Got to the race venue with plenty of time to unwind and catch up with a couple MWI kids who made the trek south as well as our Commander and Chief (Mike H.) over that the Rapha-Focus mini-compound.
Temps were pretty nice during warm ups and the pre-ride found about the same setup as past years which meant fast with not too many places at all to recover. Got a front row position between Bill Marshall (#2) and Tom Price (#1) which the USAC rankings had me 6th in this race, but didn't recognize anyone else on the front row. Whistle/light goes and it was on for 40 minutes of racing. Tucked behind Price the first lap until he slid out (eventually dropped out) near the end of the lap and then I was on my own for a couple until reality set in and a guy came around me quick enough that I was unable to hold his wheel (off he went) and with one lap to go a guy from Trek Midwest passes me and I was able to hold on for a bit before a bobble had him going up the course without me. At this point I was having some real problems getting a full breath (worse than regular) and my power/energy was dropping. Bill Marshall, who had a mechanical on lap one was charging from behind, but I was pretty confident I could hold him off until I made a stupid error and overshot a corner with less than 800 meters of racing and by the time I got back on course and started again he came by with enough momentum I couldn't get to his wheel and so there I was finishing 4th 3 seconds behind him... and off the podium.
**Above photos from Eville Mike (STL Biking)
Pretty concerned with how my body dropped on the last lap and frustrated at such a stupid simple mistake, but after a couple hours of thought my attitude changed 180 as I actually had a solid ride on a wide open course that I had dreaded leading into the weekend. Collected some 'coin' and kicked back with Dale the rest of the day enjoying the races.
|Patrick getting kitted up for his Open race (in which he did great)|
Crashed at Jay and Cory's for the night (super huge thanks for the beds) and before you know it off for day two. Fought a little bit of a head cold/sniffle during the night and was unsure about racing Sunday morning, but figured I would ride a couple warm up laps and see how I felt.
Deb had a fun day while Ian was off with friends she and Darion hit the local pumpkin patch for quite the outting. They had a great day.
Chilly start to the morning during pre-ride and found the course changed up in a couple places requiring a tad more turning (which is good) breaking up some of the open sections and actually giving a slight reprieve to catch a breath. Didn't feel too bad and the breathing was decent so I figured I'd give it a go.
There we were again toeing the line for another 40 minutes. Decent start again as I slotted behind Marshall, Price, and one other ahead of them for 1/2 of the first lap. Tom and Bill moved off the front and I pursued keeping them within reach for the first lap, but after that it was decision time: get to them and burn a big match or settle into my tempo and be realistic... Easy choice - #2. Half way though came upon Tom laying on the ground not moving or looking good (but being attended to) and so I was in 2nd 14 seconds behind Bill (now solo) and four or five guys 10 seconds back. Continued to ride my tempo and by the end was able to hold off the pursuers and finish 2nd.
|Myself, Bill, and Randy Murdock|
Loaded up and headed home where I found Deb had homemade peanut butter cookies freshly out of the oven... have I mentioned lately her awesomeness?!?!?!?
Up next is Colavita Cup (Saturday) and Blvd Cup (Sunday) both in KC. These are typically larger events with quality big and fast fields. Looks like a new venue so who knows what to expect. Taking the family for a KC weekend so I'll jump in the later Open race then the earlier masters on Sunday.