Monday, January 5, 2009

Back Dated Murrieta Race Report

This was from last year in March...But some of family wanted a re-cap.

Day One: Killer Korner Krit
Fer sweet Jesus the first corner of the crit was just waiting to claim a pile of carbon, flesh, and lycra. Almost every category found fault in it (including the pro’s as both a Rock Racing and a Kelly Benefits guy had to bunny hop the curb once.) Luckily, the curb was the kind that rolled up instead of a sharp drop.
Around the first 15 minutes I stayed top five and kept out of the wind. People kept trying to break off but they were reeled back quickly. I made the mistake of trying to bridge up to a break, and by the time I got there they were both burnt. What a waste of energy, but I was there to have fun so I was more relaxed. The field kept swarming during the straightaway into the last turn, and I fought to keep in the middle of the pack every time as people advance around the outside. 5 laps to go and the pace picked up. I was third wheel for laps 5 and 4, but dropped to tenth or so during lap 3. With two to go people were burning up and some fresher legs came to the front. I jumped on Joe Ainsworth’s wheel we headed into the last lap. On the same straightaway coming towards the last turn the line split up and everyone started fanning out. Guys were starting to sprint already and I found myself right in the wind. I saw a guy surge on my left, and two guys surge on my right with about four guys behind them. I saw Ainsworth again and was now ten riders back. I jumped out of the saddle and took about five pedal strokes and sat down for the turn. I knew I had about 10+ riders in front of me as we turned so I hammered the pedals as I rounded, and jumped out the saddle again. I would up my gear and was already in the red zone. I dropped a cog and dug deep. I passed one rider, then two, three, four. I kept digging even though I was about to pass out and passed the fourth guy by half a bike length to take third. I was upset that I had gotten caught out but happy I was still in contention for the overall.
Day Two: Circuit Race/Road Race, Whatever! It’s got hills which means my 195 lbs was going to work overtime.
Great scenery, hills were small, and the roads were TINY. For the bigger fields I felt sorry for them I don’t know how they moved up in the pack. The race started off quickly and at one point we actually were getting close to the Cat 4 field which started five minutes ahead. The pace slowed a little from laps 4-8 and then picked up with 2 laps to go. This one guy in an orange shirt tried going off the front 3 separate times, but never got more than 10 seconds ahead. Another rider from Don’s bicycle shop (Marchiano I think) tried going off and got 30 seconds at one point. Nothing stuck and it looked like a bunch sprint was coming up. I taped the top 8 rider’s numbers on my top tube and watched them. The winner of the Crit was up front the whole time and looking VERY comfortable. Which was not good for me, since I had to beat him by two people to take the overall. Not to mention the second place crit guy (Ainsworth) was also up front and looking good. It was anyone’s race, and the last lap was fast. We headed up the false flat and some riders began dropping off. I fought to get into about 10th and we coasted down the hill an up the first roller. The group bunched just before the last climb and the race leader was yelling at the guys in front to make a hole.
It was pretty funny. They weren’t going fast enough though and more people started telling them to get out of the way. The road opened up at the bottom of the climb and the race leader jumped out of the saddle and charged. I went with him and we lead the group up the climb and began the descent As we descended two guys jumped off the front. I knew from previous surges that there was NO way to move up when the pack stretched through the turns. I knew I would have to be up front to make the sprint, so I jumped on the wheel. . The last four corners were close together and VERY tight, with potholes, manholes, and debris. I was third wheel into the first two turns and the front guys slowed on a straight area allowing three more guys to come up on my outside. I immediately jumped again and was fourth wheel as we turned again. My heart was hammering, and the adrenalin was spiking. I looked behind me as we approached the last turn and saw the pack coming fast about 20 feet behind. As I hit the last turn over a cobbled area I heard people starting to yell, and I swung wide into the outside of the road. I had one guy ahead of me as I jumped out of the saddle and wound it up. I passed him and was in the front with 100 meters to go I was spent but I dropped one more gear to make sure no one came around.

It was just one of those times I knew I had it, and I stopped pedaling for the money shot, (which was dumb because I could have easily gotten DQ’d.). I crossed the line sans matches, oxygen, and parts of my lungs and left ventricle. The race leader placed third tying up our overall score and boosting me to 1st overall with the last day win. Someone got a quick video of it from their camera, hard to see but I come on the left side. Fun race.

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