Friday, June 14, 2013

Race Report: 1st at Ideal Market Crit by Greg Jackson (@ActionJCyclist)

Kirk and I met at Foxtrot at 4:30 to carpool over to the Ideal Market crit in Longmont. JD and Dana had worked on my Blue AC1SL that I dropped off the day before to get rid of the creak in my bottom bracket, but they also pointed out that the bearings in my left pedal were completely shot and would hardly spin. Oh well.

Kirk drove, and halfway to the race, I realized I forgot my helmet. Whoops!

Once we got to the race, Kirk and I started asking everyone to see if they had an extra helmet. Without much luck, I tried to get a warmup in, but was told that I could not ride around the course without a helmet. Fortunately, Barry, one of the race coordinators, let me borrow his helmet. At this point, I was able to pay my registration fee and then line up. Just in time.

At the line, after they held up the race so Kirk could put my number on the correct side of my jersey, we joked that we should start off with a warm-up lap. As Kirk had gotten us a nice position in the middle of the front row, we were able to get to the front and control the pace nice and easy. Fortunately, with Kirk's help, while leading everybody out, I was able to successfully navigate the first lap with the occasional 'go left!' from Kirk (don't judge, the cones can be confusing!).

On lap three or four, while going around a hairpin corner with a bunch of dirt and loose gravel on it, I thought to myself 'wow, this corner is really sketchy', and then moments later I heard the sound of a bike going down, and out of the corner of my eye I saw Kirk go down. I tried to slow down and get the rest of the field to slow down with me, hoping I could wait for Kirk and we could work back up together, but I noticed that he had some sort of mechanical issue, so was unable to get right back on and keep riding. Unfortunately, I had to continue on without him.

Back into the group, I settled in for a little bit, but wanted to try pushing the pace a little bit to see if I could breakup the group a little bit. I accelerated the pace on the front, and over the course of three or four laps, riders started to drop off of our group. When it got down to three of us, another rider suggested that we each take one-lap pulls on the front, which I was happy to agree to. I do not have a computer on my bike, so I was rather unaware of how much time was left at this point, but we continued this for about eight or ten laps until they started counting the laps down at five to go.

With five to go, I led our group of three around the course, but then stayed on the front going into the fourth lap. Exiting the sharp hairpin turn, I decided it was time to make my move. With the course having a number of sharp turns, and just about no straightaway before the finish, making it near impossible to pass in a sprint, I thought I would take my chances at going solo, so I got out of the saddle and sprinted out of the turn, then did my best to keep hammering as hard as I could. Towards the end of the lap, I looked back and noticed that they were a little ways back and I had a nice gap. I continued to check over my shoulder the rest of the way while maintaining a strong effort and was able to solo into victory.

Kirk also did a great job of getting back into the group after the crash and ended up with a great result of 5th!

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