Monday, June 10, 2013

Race Report: 2nd at North Boulder Park Classic by Greg Jackson (@ActionJCyclist)

[caption id="attachment_1227" align="alignleft" width="300"] Greg Jackson on the podium at the North Boulder Park Classic[/caption]

I decided to race the North Boulder Park Crit at the last minute. This was in part because I was able to do a lot of riding in the month of May and did not want to waste what is likely the peak of my fitness, so I figured I would have a go at it and see how things go.

For the first time in a while I was able to arrive to the race in plenty of time, register, and get a good warmup in on my trainer. In addition, I made sure to have a good meal three hours before my start time (I know this sounds trivial, but it is not something I have always done), and my stomach felt great.

I did a quick recon lap around the .7 mile course before the start and ended up lining up at the back of a group of 30. This course is fairly technical with the second turn heading into an alley, followed by a straight flat section and then three fairly quick turns in succession. A few laps in I though one of the Boulder Junior guys was going to crash in front of me when he clipped a pedal on one of the turns.

At this point, I was tired of the mass sprint required after every turn and the general sketchiness of some riders in those turns, so I made a move to the front of the group on the uphill straightaway leading to the start/finish. However, I gave it too much gas and ended up off the front, getting a gap of about 3-4 seconds after a couple turns. As I was not trying to break away this early into the race, I let up a little bit, allowing people to catch back on, but nobody wanted to move to the front, so I just rode tempo on the front for the next lap staying out of trouble. Also, my family was there cheering me on, including my in-laws, so I figured they could use a bit of a show before things went downhill.

After settling comfortably into the front 5-6 riders, I decided to stay there for a little while, taking my turn at the front every so often. About halfway though the race or so, they announced a prim of $40. In about 6th position going into the final turn, that prim, for some reason, sounded like a really good idea, so I decided to go for it, but only ended up with 2nd and a burn in my legs as a result. As I slowly drifted towards the back third of the group, I didn't even realize when two guys broke away from the group (maybe going for the prim wasn't such a good idea).

When I was able to pull myself back together, I made my way back towards the front of the group on the uphill straightaway. As I got up there, I realized that there were two guys off the front, but nobody really knew who they were or really seemed to care too much. After having learned my lesson from the Superior Morgal Classic road race, I had to force myself to not try and pull them back all by myself, so I sat in towards the front and they eventually came back without having to put in too much extra effort.

Although I was definitely hurting at this point (I even threw up in my mouth a little while trying to drink some water with 5 laps to go), I wanted to look good for my family and my little girls who I heard shouting "Daddy!" "Go faster Daddy!" on every lap, and show my them that all of the time I have spent on my bike has actually been (somewhat) worthwhile. By now, there were only about 15 in the lead group and seemed like everybody in the group seemed pretty tired, so I felt that I may as well go for it. With two laps to go there was a big push for positioning by everybody, which only became ever more urgent with one lap to go. Before the final lap began, I made my way back to about 5th position, which I was able to hold through the alley, and the turns going into the final stretch. When I realized that a guy in the front was getting a gap coming out of the final turn, I took off as well, but was blocked in a bit at first because of an island in the middle of the road (which I should have gone to the other side of). After the island, I was off into a full sprint and in 3rd position, but I still had the overwhelming feeling that the entire field was about to blow by me any second. Desperately wanting to hold them off, I continued to go all-out and ended up getting 2nd place, right at the line, and about a bike length behind 1st place.

Of course, I am extremely happy with this result and I think everything went right for me during the race. Next time, I probably won't go for the prim because I think that took too much out of my legs, and I will need to pay more attention to positioning going into the final turns. However, it is likely only downhill from here as I will not be able to ride as much with my new job, but we will just have to see!


  1. Congrats Greg; I always knew you had tremendous potential as a racer; keep it up

  2. Congrats Greg; I always knew you had tremendous potential as a racer; keep it up