Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bloomington Crit

I'm gonna keep today's post short and sweet. It's been a while since I've written here, mostly because I haven't done much racing and none to write home about until this weekend. Last Sunday was a long day of base miles, 130 actually with about a hundred solo! Followed it up with a massage on Monday and back to training as usual for the week.

Saturday was Bloomington Crit. This was the home to my second race on the road ever and first criterium last year. It was a horrible experience with crashes and yo-yoing and nerves and I was in over my head. Basically after getting pulled last year I wanted another go at it this year. There were two teams with huge numbers - Scholars Inn Bakehouse and Upland Brewery. Both are local Bloomington teams and I hoped that I could fly under the radar while they were busy focusing on each other.

My legs/body didn't feel quite good enough to really give it a go early in the race, but I was also comfortable in the pack, never sliding more than a third or half way back in the field. I went against my normal M-O and did not attempt to take any primes, partly because I wasn't feeling it in the heat and partially to stay under the radar. With five to go I started moving back up, but just floated in the 5-15 range. I noticed that Upland was setting up a lead out train with Scholars Inn nearby doing the same. I had no idea who Upland was working for, but was pretty sure SIB was setting up for Depasse. With two to go I was about 13 deep and wanted to be further up but knew I could take a few places as we got the bell and the jump on a leadout at the end. Going into turn three, bad position suddenly turned to outstanding position - the guy in second wheel washed out as the turn went off camber and took out 2-10!! The guy on the front took off, I squeezed by and there was one guy between us who basically towed me around for a lap until I jumped with about 200m to go, easily overtaking the guy who'd been in front of the crash for the WIN.

It happened so fast, I can't seem to replay exactly how I got through the crash, but remember consciously not locking up the brakes, just feathering and watching for holes on my left since all the bodies and bikes were moving to the right.

Here's some awesome footage from one of the racer's go-pro camera, mounted on his bars:

I opted out of the 1/2/3 race with a stacked 70+ guy field knowing I'd burned enough matches to make staying anywhere near the front a challenge, especially with the heat. Instead I watched with beer in hand and chatted with my team mate Ryan K and Matt K's lady friend Sarah. Then it was dessert and time to hit the road, but all in all a great day racing bikes!!

Bloomington Criterium Men's 3/4 Podium (Photo Ryan Kiel/Sarah Prendergast)

Careful, that cork will take your eye out! (Photo Ryan Kiel/Sarah Prendergast)

1 comment:

  1. Ray, Nice work. I am the Director of the Scholars Inn program and I was announcing. You beat a tough field. Well done. Tom Saccone