Sunday, March 19, 2006

Mission Complete: I finished a crit!!

Princeton ended up being a really fun race. There were fewer racers than any other event, only about 200, and there was a very mello feeling in the air. It felt like people were there to have a fun race.

I met up with Will as I arrived and we ended up being the only two Rutgers riders the whole day. Check-in was interesting since they could not find our check at first and then I found out that I had never been registered. They asked for money and I explained that we had paid for three racers and only two showed so would it be possible if I took someone elses spot. They agreed and Dan got his name crossed off the list with mine taking his spot.

My race started off really mello. Everyone took it easy the first 2 laps while they learned the turns and feel of the course and then we got going. It was a much better start to the race than yesterday. I think its a sign that people are learning you cannot win the race in the first 10 minutes. On lap 5 I had my moment to shine. On the back stretch the course was strait, long and flat. For some reason the field went to the left side of the road as much as possible and the right side wide open to attack. I knew it was not the best dicision, race wise, but I wanted to have some fun so I attacked and pulled out in front. I lead for about 7 seconds before a UVM rider joined me and said, "Lets do this." I got on his wheel and we pulled away from the pack.

The only tricky part of the race was a hard left turn up a small hill similar to yesterday. On the hill I realized I had burned all my energy during my attack and the UVM guy pulled away as I slowed down. He looked back and I waved him on, he knew my legs were shot. It could have been great. Coming down the other side of the little incline I had to drop to my middle ring and just keep peddling while I waited for the pack to swallow me up. They did about 100 yards later and my attack was over. I hung on at the back and rested for the next lap before working my way back to the front.

With about half a lap to go I was sitting about 3 riders from the front of the pack and all the breaks had been brought back. Once again on the back strait the leaders picked up the pace and started fighting for position and I stayed with them. I was in the top 10 going into the left turn with the hill and for some reason everyone went hard to the right and boxed me in
while a group from behind us attacked on the left side of the road which was left completely open. I crossed the finish line still boxed in and loosing position while the 10 or so riders around me refused to take advantage of the other half of the road. I got 20th place out of 53 and have now completed my goal of finishing a crit.

I also went back to "Doughnut Power" for this race and kicked ass, unlike yesterday. They shall forever be my pre-race fuel of choice. Homer Simpson had it right all along.

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