Friday, June 17, 2011

McDonald's Tri-State Criterium

I didn't get a lot of pictures, and it's been over a week so I'll keep it short and sweet.

The venue was AWESOME! It was a downtown four corner crit with better than average pavement and bars/restaurants/people scattered  all around adding a buzz to the course.

The payouts were HUGE! $1500 for the Cat 3/4 and $2500 for the Cat 1/2/3, you don't find that kind of money in a race often, thanks to McDonalds, Jeff's Bike Shop, and all the other great sponsors!

The field sizes were OK. For a first year race with a three day omnium, Mohican 100, and a state time trial all happening within six hours, the fields were actually pretty good but I expect this race will draw huge turnouts next year!

The 3/4 race contained a lot of familiar faces with a LOT of red and yellow McDonalds kits. Those guys played the tactics game nicely and got one guy up the road early, then another and then yet another while much of the rest of the field was content to let them go. I attempted to bridge a handful of times, but was too late and never made it across. With a lap to go the field was racing for fourth and Mr Sells jumped earlier than I expected, no one would chase so I went after him alone and finished fifth. Not the result I wanted, but the envelope still had a good amount of green stuff!

The 1/2/3 race was my first with the big boys and I had one goal - to hang on! The field was only 27 deep and while most of the favorites had fresh legs, about half of the guys were in a similar boat to me after racing either the 3/4 or the Master's. I stayed in the front ten or so for several laps, then saw the front (behind the break) for the first time about 18 minutes in, then until about 26 minutes in felt like I was going to die as the field began chasing the break. I kept drifting back spots in the straightaways until suddenly there was no where else to go - I was the last guy! This was the breaking point, either dig in and hold on for the rest of the race or pull the plug. I climbed back up a few places but still felt like hell when coach appeared and said, "Just hang on..." or something like that. A couple laps later, the field slowed a bit and I was able to recover and work my way back to the middle at least. Then with about seven lapping the field, I wanted to stay out of the way and let them do their thing. I had a little more in the legs during the last three laps getting in position, but again it was time to stay out of the way so I just sprinted from the last turn and held my place for 16th. Not great, but the goal of hanging on was exceeded - mission accomplished.

Since then I've had a couple more short track races, a lack of nutrition bonk at a five spot, and spent a weekend immersed in wedding festivities for the joining of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Jones. Now things are ramping back up for the Jude Clark Criterium and the KY State Road Race this weekend!

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