Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tacoma Crit 2010: Cascadia Crit Series Finale

(so yeah this is about two weeks late, but here you go - enjoy! Coming up next are Cat 3 reports from the Capitol Crit & Boston Harbor Circuit, so stay tuned)

A few Saturdays ago was the last race of the Cascadia Crit Series, and I went into it in 1st place, wearing the Leader's #1 number. A little pressure, but not much since I had a good deal of points ahead of 2nd place, and was feeling good. And I can corner like a mofo, which is what crits are mostly about.

A few shots from the scene:

View from the beer garden:

The Race

After 20-30 minutes on the trainer, we did a few practice laps with other racers. The 4/5's were going first so they were still setting up the course when we got there, and at one point they put a big red inflatable banner across the course, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I thought it must be a joke. Only 20-25 feet across, I imagined parts of our peloton bouncing off the inflated thingy and causing epic crashes..

Luckily they thought twice about the plan and put the red inflatable rainbow thingy off to the side, where it belonged. There were enough turtles in the road to look out for without having to worry about that monstrosity.

Anyway we got to the race and did call-ups, I got to get called out as 1st place overall once again. Not something I could get tired of, I must admit...

We got off on the first lap and I put in a good effort (looking at power data, the peak 5-sec/30-sec/1-minute/5-minute/etc for the whole race!) from the gun, hoping to hit the pack hard and soften if up for Kyle, who was gunning for a spot on the top 3 podium, sitting in 4th place.

One junior from Rad Racing and I somehow ended up with a gap between us and the pack on the first lap - not the plan, but for my last 4's race why not? I just needed to get another top 15 or so and I'd keep 1st in the bag.

But once you're out there alone (or with one other you can barely hang on with, in this case) you realize how hard it is to maintain that. I can only do 190 beats per minute for so long..

We got reeled in before too long, maybe a lap or two out there, but it was fun. I guess the warm-up was good, because I jumped right back in the pack when we got caught and got ready to snatch up points premes if they came along (on Kyle's behalf, I didn't really need them).

Sure enough a points preme came along and I got 2nd in it, enough to get 3 more points.

The pack was a little.. squirrelly at times, if you will, and while there were a few close calls on the slower backside (4-5% uphill), I think there was only one minor crash in the race. I came through a few gaps that weren't very big, but luckily kept it upright.

In the final lap I sat back a bit and watched Kyle move up and take 3rd, I got 7th. Success! Kyle moved up to 2nd on the podium, and also got some more points towards his 3's upgrade.


As a reward for holding on to 1st place overall I got showered with all kinds of gifts. A trophy (pictured below), a wheelset (seriously!), a leader's jersey, and $125. Never thought I'd get anything but a challenge from racing, but it's been that and then some I guess.

1st overall leaders' jersey!

A cool trophy from the Chihuly institute:

More photos

AJ & other rider off the front in the 3's race:

The pace car for the 1/2's:

More photos on flickr, as usual.

Thanks to Rob from the ride down, and to everyone for racing & not crashing too much, as well as to RT and the whole Cascadia Crits crew for putting on such a great series. Looking forward to next year's edition!

Goodbye Cat 4, it's been fun. Hope to see some of you guys up in the 3's soon!

1 comment:

nrmrvrk said...

Congrats! I love the write-ups.

What kind of wheelset did you get for winning?