Saturday, April 26, 2008

Thursday Night Crit Report (4/24)

I made it out to the Thursday Night Crit this week. They have been adding new sections to the track which is mainly used for auto racing. One of the new sections was used in the crit for the first time on Thursday. It features a fast down hill that goes into a sweeping high speed turn at the bottom before heading back up the hill into a hard left corner. After pre-riding the new section I knew it was going to be a great addition to the course.

I did the Cat 3/4 race with an estimated 40 other racers. I was in the front row for the start and got off decently, but not great. From the start line the riders go right into the sharpest turn on the course which when run in the direction it was on Thursday is a hard right turn. There was the typical congestion going through the corner, but once through there it smoothed out and opened up. After about 5 laps I was sitting mid pack. I took an outside line coming up the new hill section a few times and found myself crowded up onto the cement berm on the inside of the left turn. It wasn't a big deal because you could roll over it pretty easily, but later in the race I chose a better line. In a few more laps we started passing the lapped riders. At this point I noticed that a group of 4 riders was off the front. They were the usual Cat 3 suspects. They never got off the front very far, but were never caught. After two more laps on the way up the new hill I was able to get on the wheel of a Violet Crown rider who decided to attack. We flew past the chase but after turning left at the top of the hill I lost his wheel and was sucked back into the chase. He wasn't able to make it up to the break and eventually he was back in the chase as well. It was a nice attempt by him though. The next thing I knew there were 3 laps to go. The pace picked up, but nobody was attacking. On the last lap I was feeling spent for the most part. I finished near the back of the sprint for what I guess was 20th or so. Not a great result, but not bad for not racing in a month.

This picture shows the break with the chase behind. This is coming up the new section of hill.

Of all the pictures this guy took, the only one where I show up well at all is this one where I am in the blue and white on the far left. Oh well. I guess he doesn't focus on the pretty riders. :)

If the weather holds out I will be racing on Sunday in San Antonio. If it is pouring, I doubt I will race. I am not a fan of riding in the rain let alone racing a crit in the rain.


Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

Good to see you out there mixing it up with the pretty riders! The course looks very cool; reminds me of our Grattan track. That should be starting up here soon too.
Good luck this weekend if you race but I agree, skip it if it rains!

4/26/08, 7:00 AM  
Blogger bluecolnago said...

not too shabby after a month off!

my momma always said "take your ass outside, i don't care if it's raining, you ain't made of sugar, you won't melt, by god turds float!"

i miss my mom a lot :)

oldman.... one of my buddies went to grattan one time without me and ended up totalling his buell at the track. i knew it would happen eventually but i was pissed that i wasn't there to see it.

you guys behave!

4/26/08, 2:55 PM  
Blogger Groover said...

That looks like a very nice race track you've got there, probably similar to our Lakeside, just newer. How long is it?

Great effort, Chris.

4/26/08, 3:27 PM  
Blogger Lily on the Road said...

Wow Chris, to a non "biker", that looks guys were smoke'n it...

Smart not to ride if it's pouring, you're just starting the season!!

That was one mean momma Bluecolngo had!! yikes, ;)

4/27/08, 3:28 AM  
Blogger Whitey said...

That looks like an awesome course and a nice big turn out for the race as well!

4/27/08, 3:57 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

Go for it!

4/27/08, 5:47 PM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

Blue: Your mom sounds like she was a lot of fun!
Grattan is a tricky course and it does not have any walls or curbs to reinforce the corners. Easy to get in trouble there quick. I want to take the mustang out and run some hot laps there, but I know I will just mess it up!

4/28/08, 5:17 AM  
Blogger Mallie said...

How dare the photographer shun you simply because you're so pretty!

Way to dig in and finish strong! I don't like skinny tires on wet pavement, so no snickers from me if you don't race a crit in the rain.

4/28/08, 5:21 AM  
Blogger jahowie said...

Great job on the race. It looks like you need to hire your own photographer. That guy sucks. :-)

4/28/08, 5:52 AM  
Blogger CyclistRick said...

Rain, schmain. Actually, I am not a fan of racing in the rain, either, but it would depend on the type of rain (cold vs warm, driving vs light, etc.) for me in general, and the type of course in a crit. If flat and non-technical, too easy for the squirrels to do damage.

That looks like a fun course for crits. Wish we could get one like it up here. We start our Tuesday night crits next week, but it is on roads which were once rural but getting less so by the day :-( Last year on that course, so looking for a new one for next year.

4/28/08, 2:08 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Oldman - I remember your pics of the track up there. It looks pretty cool. I want to try it someday.

Blue - but I am made of sugar. I'm TOO SWEET.

Groover - it can be anywhere from 0.8 miles to 3 miles depending on the route they choose.

Lily - you should give bike racing a go. You already have the running racing down.

Mallie - I am so tired of being discriminated against. I can't help how I look.

Jahowie - I really do need my own entourage.

Rick - I will trade you my crit course for your velodrome.

4/28/08, 7:24 PM  
Blogger AMRcyclist said...

Hi Chris,
Great to read your race reports. And doesn't that track look fast?
Make sure that in your next race you pull a big turn right in front of the guy with the long lens... It works!!! :-)
Good luck if racing this weekend!

5/1/08, 5:11 AM  

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