Sunday, July 15, 2007

7_15_07 Longmont Criterium

Jeremy Duerksen breaks off the front of the SM3 race, Longmont, CO.

Lots of photos of Blue Sky Velo racers racing in circles in our hometown. Click here to view all the photos:

Race Report:
Blue Sky Velo had 16 racers and in nearly every category today: SM4 35+, SM4, SM3, SW123, Kids and probably a couple other categories I didn't get to see. And in every category (even the kids) the Blue Sky Velo was prominently on the front - driving breakaways, setting up sprints or just driving the pace and stringing out the field. There also were some top finishes with Jenna Dancy sprinting for 5th place in the Womens Pro/1/2/3 field, Kevin Abraham getting 8th in the 35+, Jeremy Duerksen - 8th in the SM3's, Rob Love 14th in the SM4's and Bryan Harwood 18th in the SM4 35+ field.

I have to especially comment on the SM4's race - Mike Olivero and Rob Love (ended up 14th!)were amazing! They kept taking turns breaking off the front, pushing the pace in what has to have been one of the fastest SM4 crits this year.

Unfortunately, in that same race one of our own was injured and our thoughts are with him - Brian Harwood didn't crash but had his little finger sliced open when someone crashed just in front of him and their wheel bounced straight onto his right hand. He'll be getting surgery on the tendon sometime this week. That race was his 2nd of the day - he got 18th earlier in the day in the SM4 35+ field.

In the Senior Men's 3 race we also had a crash and I received a footprint on my back.... I've got no idea how that happened - someone must have flipped up and onto my back. Fortunately no Blue Sky rider fell, but I understand someone's carbon frame is busted and someone else's handlebars are broken. And you thought bad crashes only happened on the Tour...

Kevin Abraham, Isaac Dancy and I lined up in the front line as part of an 89 man field with everyone jittery for the start of the Colorado State Criterium Championships. The pace quickly started to follow the typical yoyo effect our races usually feel like. Its up, out of the saddle sprinting hard as you can, then a minute later sitting up. There is rarely a strung out line for more than 1/2 lap. Even then, the announcer said our lap times were mostly under 1:25 and equivalent to the lap times of the Pro1/2 field.

Kevin (already raced in the early morning Men's 35+ race and got 8th!!), Isaac and myself put out quite a few efforts to get into breaks, but nothing stuck and every break was pulled back. In the end, it was a bunch sprint with probably 40-50 of the original 89 riders duking it out. My plan had been to be top 5 out of the last corner, then sprint into first at the crosswalk, but instead I was more like top 15 out of the corner even though with 2 laps to go I was 3rd. Its maddening, but the hardest thing to do in a crit is to keep your place - you have to continually move up. Anyways, I passed quite a few riders up the finishing straight but couldn't quite pull a Robbie McEwan and ended up 8th. 8th feels good and I can't complain, but I know I could have given it more power in the sprint.... Ahhh, next time.

But for now, in the words of Bill Teasedale (after finishing his first ever Criterium - today's SM4 35+ crit) "I think I found something I like - Crits are great!" I agree.

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