Sunday, June 1, 2008

City Park Crit - Geese, Bodies and Fun

Today's race was only 60 minutes, in the shade, around the Denver City Park, fast and furious from the gun. Oh what a difference from Hugo! But still... 80 guys all roughly with the same fitness + lack of will to work meant numerous crashes as the group would slow to a crawl around the 2 hairpin corners, then sprint out trying to stay 8 abreast with no one keeping to their lines. Aside from sketchy riders, we got to see wildlife on the course. I couldn't help but smile watching a moto-cop shooing geese away from the middle of the road... twice. At least no larger animals decided to check out the race from the Zoo next door.


I arrived with my B.O.B. action (Bike on Bike) just in time to see a few laps of the cat 4 race. Blue Sky Velo had 3+ guys working the front and looking good. Check out the video, you might see a few flashes of blue, red and black coming around the final turn.

The only crash I was close to (out of the 5-6 I heard behind me) was a guy who went down all by himself in the middle of the road up the straightaway to the start/finish line. He was probably 5 guys ahead of me and all of a sudden he was on the ground bouncing to the right and his bike was sliding right towards me. I missed the handlebars by less than 2 inches and the guy by about a foot, threading the needle between the two of them. I think I would have rather dodged a goose.


I tried for a $70 prime about halfway through the race and missed it by a few bike lengths getting 3rd which of course in a prime is about as good as getting 80th. Then I sat in for 10 laps to catch my breath!


The last 2 laps the pace picked up and I sat in, scared I wouldn't have enough legs or lungs if I tried going off the front. Every race I keep planning on a 1-2 lap break going into the finish and every race I get to that point and wimp out. Last quarter lap I was in 6th or so position and feeling in a good place going into the 2nd to last corner. Then Delaney comes ripping up the outside, cuts across the field into the tight right hander, then leads around the left sweeper and into the straightaway. By that time I was 12 or 13 back and although I dug, I didn't dig deep enough to get better than a disappointing 9th. So, once again I learned... winning a race all comes down to your position on that last corner - a split second decision - and giving it your all at just the right time. Guys blew up who gave it too soon. I lost it by waiting till too late. Good for Ben - he gave it at just the right time and held it for the win.

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