Friday, June 21, 2013

Race Report: Ideal Market Crit 3/4 by Greg Jackson (@ActionJCyclist)

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I set the over/under of bugs ingested at 150. Fortunately, it wasn't as bad on the course.

After winning the 4/5 race last week, I entered the 3/4 race this week. There were only 10 people in the race this week, as a few people didn't make it, but I figured it should be a fun time regardless.

The race started out at a decent pace from the beginning with a few pseudo attacks and after a few laps we were down to five. A few people tried to make attacks again, but I was able to cover them. At one point, I tried to pickup the pace for a couple laps to see if we could drop a couple people, but realized that I was only succeeding in tiring myself out.

Shortly after they told us we were halfway through (race was 35 min), a rider from Lifetime Bikes - Loganville Ford, whom had tried to attack several times already, attacked again. I countered to see what would happen, but I ended up off the front with a small gap. After some pushback from my legs, and not really wanting to go for a breakaway by myself, I let off a little bit and the Lifetime Bikes rider (Curtis) caught up. At that point, we were pretty well committed to a breakaway, so we worked together alternating pulls about every half lap, and increasing our gap.

With three laps to go, the official began counting down the laps for us. We continued to alternated, with Curtis starting to pull just before the finish line and through the first set of turns. With less than two laps to go, I didn't swing over to let him by for his usual pull, instead maintaining my positioning at the front.

After going through the first turns on the last lap, I made a quick move to test the waters, but Curtis was able to cover it immediately. Not wanting to go again right away, I slowed down, but remained in front. We cruised through the back straightaway and right before the turn I took off in a sprint into a right hand turn. Immediately following the right turn are three quick left turns, another right turn, and a quick left into a rathe short final straight. In the second left, I tried to carry too much speed and my rear wheel slipped out and I began sliding sideways, miraculously, I was able to recover and maintain my speed to hit the next left. After coming out of the right turn and into the left I took it easy, not wanting to wreck right before the finish, then, fearing Curtis would come around me, I hit the gas hard into the finish for a close victory.

I think my inadvertent tactic of nearly crashing right at the end worked out well, likely spooking Curtis, making him scrub speed, and giving myself the opportunity to ride away with it. Although not one I would recommend, or ever attempt again, it ultimately proved effective.

It ended up being another fun race, again boosting my confidence going into my next big race - Sonic Boom in Louisville on June 29th. Not sure if I will race this again next week, but I probably will if my schedule works out.

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