Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday Night Crit Report (8/30)

I made it out to the crit tonight after hopping myself up on pretzels, a tuna fish salad sandwich, and some sports drink. I got there early because the power went out in our office this afternoon, then the phones went down, so I decided it was a sign to get going. I warmed up on the track for about 20 minutes before the Cat 3/4 race got started and continued warming up sporadically while they raced. I did 3 or 4 laps before my race and arrived at the starting line in the second row and was mentally ready to race. Goals for the race: 1) Stay in my drops the entire race and not go back and forth from the hoods to the drops like I have been doing. 2) Win.

The race started off at an average race pace. Not crazy fast and not slow. After 3 laps there was a paceline about 20 people long and I was probably about 15th or so. Some people were falling off the back already. After a few more laps I decided to move up a bit. I moved up to around 8th or 10th and was feeling good. The pace picked up a bit and things were uneventful for a few more laps. We were lapping slower riders at this point. With about 5 to go I was still around 8th wheel and touched wheels with the guy in front of me. I damn near went down and it must have looked really sketchy because everyone said "nice save." With 3 to go the pace was picking up and I was marking my target. The guy I was watching won the previous two races and is super strong on the last lap and has a hell of a sprint. I was able to get on his wheel. With two to go we were coming around the sharp corner before the start/finish and I heard a bad crash behind me. I didn't look back because the pace was pretty high and the guys ahead weren't slowing. With 1 lap to go I was still in 8th or so and felt like I had the lungs and legs to win. The last lap pace was fast. I moved up to about 7th and as we were hammering toward the corner before the finish one of the guys ahead popped. He slowed and was right in the middle of the corner. The few ahead of me squeezed past and as I was coming through it was shutting down so I had to dart through the corner flatter than I wanted to. The fact that I was taking the corner at 30+ mph didn't make it easier. Long story short is I went way wide and a gap of a few yards opened and that is how I finished my sprint. I think I finished in 6th place. I still feel that physically I could have won, but I didn't put myself in a good position to win. The dude I marked won again - 3 in a row. He is tough. Goal 1 met. Goal 2 will have to wait until next week.

I will do one more Thursday crit next week and then it is off to Grand Rapids, MI to do the Priority Health Criterium and meet some bloggers. It should be a blast. Have a good Friday.


Blogger bryan said...

awesome report -- you were right there. The finish doesn't always pan out like you want it. And you'll replay that for a few days, of course. But you were there.

The Crit Monster is ready to win!

8/30/07, 9:44 PM  
Blogger lauren said...

hey good job! pretzels and a tuna fish sandwich, eh?

i might have to try that.

did you have any teammates out there? are they strong enough to work together with you?

8/30/07, 10:07 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Bryan - lots of shoulda and coulda last night as I was falling asleep.

Lauren - I didn't have any teammates in the race. In fact, for some reason I was the only one from my team in any of the races.

8/31/07, 5:42 AM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

Barry Bonds does it on the juice, but you my friend are an all natural athelete; tuna fish and pretzels! Food of the Gods!
Sounded like a great race. I can't wait to see the Crit Monster in action here on the mean streets of West Michigan.
Send me your itinerary for the weekend at my e-mail: I am planning to take Friday off.

8/31/07, 6:59 AM  
Blogger Merkeley Bike said...

Nice job in the crit. Sounds like a win is in your near future.

Have fun in GR. Eat some blueberries and check out the beach. I've got a lot of family just up the road a bit. Beautiful country.

8/31/07, 1:27 PM  
Blogger bluecolnago said...

fudge rounds and bug juice. trust me.

good job!

8/31/07, 2:48 PM  
Blogger chatterbox said...

Great job, Chris!

FYI, in our typical "industrial park" crits, you want to be 2nd or 3rd wheel coming around the last corner to win (unless you've got a lead-out), but that is typically with 3-400 meters to the finish. Not sure how that compares with your course.

You will get the win now that you are in it well enough to work on tactics.

You teammates have probably stopped racing for the season.

8/31/07, 4:22 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Oldman- I will fire my itinerary off this weekend.

Mike - I look forward to checking out GR. I do know that Oldman has some Blueberry Ale waiting for me, but I think it is made in Maine.

Blue - I am going to take your word for it.

Chatterbox - I should have been further up for sure. I was first going into the last corner last week and that didn't work out either. I looked at the race list that Rick sent and will check into one of the May or June crits out there.

8/31/07, 6:24 PM  
Blogger allan said...

Chris-your reports make me actually want to try a crit. I usually wise up before I sign up though. I'd look pretty funny doing one on a DS, knobby tired mtn. bike.

Good luck this Thursday and In Michigan.

9/1/07, 4:34 AM  
Anonymous Fendergal said...

Sounds like you gave it your all. Like Bryan says, things don't always go according to plan. You have to be able to recognize when things are going pear-shaped and make the best of it. Congrats on not hitting the deck after touching wheels. I've saved it once or twice and had no idea how I stayed up.

I've a crit tomorrow in NJ. Must... be... fierce!

9/1/07, 12:14 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Allan - you should do a crit so you can say you have.

Fendergal - best of luck in Jersey. I look forward to reading your report.

9/2/07, 5:14 AM  

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