Monday, April 28, 2008

Primus Mootry Criterium

The first race of the season is in the books. If it would have been in Denver, there is no way I would have gone, but I decided to jump in on the action yesterday for no other reason than the close proximity to home. The race, a criterium, was held around the Thule building just outside of Boulder. The course was oval shaped with only one 90-degree turn and about as flat as they come. With no technical turns or hills, there wouldn't be much to break apart the pack.

Coach K has been pounding into our pea brains the importance of riding as close to the front of the race without sticking our noses in the wind too much. I was determined to heed his sage advice and lined up in the front row. Blue Sky Velo teammates Dave K., Dave T., Kevin G., and Steve C. lined up close behind.

Coming from cross, I'm unaccustomed to calm starts, but this one was just that. We rolled away from the start line and everyone was looking at each other waiting for someone to make the move and stick their nose into the wind. About a quarter of lap in, a guy jumped the right side and got things rolling. I quickly jumped to third wheel and sat in the slipstream of the rider in front of me. The first 15 minutes of the race pretty much stayed this way.

I think boredom was starting to set in as people started to try their hand at taking a flyer. I had thought about the merits of such a move before the race in terms of trying to animate things, but after watching three or four folks try to get away and how quickly and easily the field brought them back, I decided to hang tight and conserve energy. As the race wore on I started having to spend more and more energy trying to stay close to the front. Because the road was so wide, it was easy for the group to swarm from the sides. One minute you'd be in front and the next you'd almost be at the back. I only spent one time in the back and it was enough to motivate me to get back to the front as fast as possible.

The last couple of laps really heated up and I had enough to stay with the group, but there was nothing left for the sprint. Kevin G. even offered to get me into position for the sprint, but I just didn’t have enough to get on his wheel. Sorry Kevin. It was nice to get out with the other boyz from the team and stretch the legs and see where my base fitness is right now.

Only four more months until cyclocross begins!

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