Freemont Criterium - May, 2003 (Cat 5)
Finish: 20th

The weather was nice and warm for the race and the course is a typical four turn flat course, although there was a strong headwind down the front straightaway. I got to the race late because I slept in to much. I got to the race site around 7:35 or so. I need to use the restroom really bad from the long drive to the race, so I grabbed my bike and my helmet and road off to find the blue towers. Then I went over and registered and got my race number. By that time there was just enough time to go back to my truck, pin my number on and get my clothes on for the race. No warmup, just a bit of stretching since that was all I had time for. On the way over to the start/finish line I heard my rear wheel making more noise than normal. I played with it a bit to try and figure out what was really wrong, but could not figure it out. I decided to start the race at the very back to make sure that if there was something wrong I would not hurt anyone. At least if I start I get credit for the race so I can move up to the next Category. I hang with the back of the pack for the first seven or so laps and notice my wheel is just noisey, but not doing anything out of the ordinary. I slowly begin to move up in the field. A couple attacks go, but they are brought back pretty fast. About lap 11 there is a prime and the pace picks up a bit, but not exactly fast. Going into turn 2 two guys get there handlebars tangled up and go down coming out of the turn. The guy to my outside decides to go around the crash on the outside, but since they were sliding into the gutter there ended up being no place for him to go. Bad move on his part and it caused him to dislocate his shoulder. After the prime lap there was another prime that kept the pace up. After the second prime the pace slowed down a bit for the two guys on the front to recover. It seems that there were only two guys pulling almost the entire race. Coming into turn 3 on the last lap the guy on my outside just wiped out. Now idea why it happened, just his rear wheel went out from under him. Then coming out of turn 4 I was sitting about halfway in the pack and everyone decided to sprint. If you are not in the top ten do not risk my life for a worthless finish. You do not get anything unless you are in the top 3, just ride out the rest of the race. I was very happy to stay with the pack for the first time, although I was having fun in the pack, it was not exactly taxing on my legs. Next race you will see me out off the front making everyone else work. Thank you to the friendly masters guys in my race that were giving advice and helping out us folks that do not do a lot of group riding. Angel was a nice guy with an odd bike and being 49 he is just happy to ride with the group.

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