Sunday, April 29, 2012
Belleville Criterium Cycling Race Cat 4/5
First cycling race of the season. The day started out kind of rough. On the drive down I hit a storm and it was still raining at the course site when I showed up. Once my race came around the course for the most part was dry which was a relief. The race was 30 min. + 5 laps, which means we races on the crit course for 30 min then once the 30 min was up it was a 5 lap race. I did my share of work in the group took a couple breaks and pulled a couple laps as well. I wanted to stay up in the top 10 the entire race, one I new I was strong enough to and I wanted to stay out of trouble i.e. crashes, which happened twice. Both crashes happened just to the outside of me which a sight to see. They were both close calls and I was lucky but in this sport there is quite a bit of luck because you just never know what the rider next to you is going to do. Going into 5 laps to go I was sitting too far back for my liking so I pushed hard on a downhill postion while others just kind of rested. Pulled back up in the top 3 and sat there till the last lap. 2 or 3 guys flew by me on the downhill portion and I bridged them quickly because I knew that the race was going to be in the uphill portion. Going into the last sharp curve I could feel a crash coming on and sure enough "the big one" happen. This sharp curve had been causing problems all day for riders, its a very sketchy curve with a slick brick crosswalk and it was still slick from the rain so when the back tires hit it the bike sometimes jumped out. Thankfully I took the curve on the inside and crash pushed outside. There were 3 guys still way off the front so it was a race for 4th. Going into the uphill portion I knew the race going to be won there so I pushed hard but so did 2 others. They were still ahead of me going into the final curve and the final sprint stretch. I grabbed their back wheel and waited till I was about 75 meters out and wnet for it. I threw in a sprint but I feel it was kind of half assed. I guess the two guys in front of me were gassed.
Overall, it was a great morning of racing. All things considered Im happy with a 4th place. Its only my fourth cycling race ever and I am still considered a cat 5 racer which is considered a "beginner" I sure dont feel like a beginner, I train with cat 2-3 guys on a weekly basis and the training rides are much much harder than the races. This particular race was a combination of cat 4 and 5's so it had a mixture of beginners and more experienced riders. So for me to pull off a 4th place finish is good in my book. Some of these guys have been racing for years and years and this is there main event. I do this sport as a secondary sport and I dont race often. After the race I was talking to a couple of guys that congradulated me and asked me how many races Ive done and I told them only 4 in my life time, they were floored. So I must be doing something right. Its a scary fast sport that has a great adrenaline rush and great benefit for my stair climbing and running. Ive got about 8 or so races scheduled this summer so well keep theball rollin and hopefully I can "cat up" meaning move up in category or experience as a rider and get into some more competitive races.