Friday, June 4, 2010

Cascadia Crit Series: Leader!

I was sitting 2nd place overall in the Cascadia Crit Series coming into the Seward Park race yesterday before this race. The third race out of six, Seward is a course I've done about 25 times since last season, so nothing new, but a big crowd and lots of motivated riders ready to tear it up.

I've been racing the 6 PM race there this year (the 3/4's field) which has provided extra challenge, so I was hoping doing a 4/5 field would be a tad easier. Maybe, but not by much!

The Race

Team mates Kyle & Chris were there, and Chris even went on a flier during the race, hoping to draw Counterbalance guy into a failed break, or something. Kyle later did the same later on, trying to wear out those eager to win from a break. And the whole time, I just sat up front and watched with glee.

As the final laps came around I made sure not to leave the top 10, but that was easier said than done, and coming into the final downhill I was probably about 15th. As we got to the flat-ish section the pack was together, waiting for someone to pounce. If nobody pounced most would happily cruise up to the top of the hill, and then light up the sprint.

But I've raced here enough times to know that the ones that win the sprint start before the climb, to get a gap on the field. A guy led me up the left side of the pack and then pulled off, and that's when I took my chance. I pounced. Already red-lining but the finish line is close, so I emptied the tank.

As I took the soft left on to the climb, I looked down and though to myslef, "Holy shit! I'm in first, and nobody has come around yet! I won finally!"

But it was too early to celebrate, and not long after cresting the hill at least one guy had already jumped beyond me, and I could hear others behind. The rest is kind of a blur but one more guy snuk around me towards the line, and I just held on the gas up to the line. Here are the three of us sprinting around the bend towards the line. (Note: I didn't coast in the sprint like I used to, that's for sure!)

Congrats to Jeff that took the win, he also beat me out in one of the points premes and is obviously strong. I looked around to see how Aaron on Counterbalance did, since he was 1st overall and leading me in points. Nowhere to be seen?? Later on someone said he had to pull out due to a mechanical issue or something. Sucks! Not the way I wanted to get on top of the overall podium but that's racing I guess.

On to the podium, where the top 5 in the race got $20 cash. Then the overall podium, and guess who's on top? Me!

In addition to a nice pair of socks and a water bottle & nuun tablets, I was also presented with a Leader's number to wear in the next race! Pretty sweet:

But it's not over yet, there's still Ballard & the Brad Lewis Crit to contend with this weekend!

Here we go...


Chris Heg said...

Great job Matt! We were talking about your bike racing success on the 4 passes 600K this weekend.

Joe P said...

Matt, good an ya. The rando gang was missing you this weekend. Come ride with us when the season winds down.

Jennifer said...

Congratulations, Matt! And what a timing! Over 4 Passes 600K this weekend, I was re-living the ordeals we shared, climbing up the howling White Pass in the middle of the night, and here you are, two years later, winning all over the place! It's the best comeback!