Memorial Day Criterium - May, 2003 (Cat 5)

Race Website

Finish: 18th

The weather was nice and warm for the race and the course is a four turn flat course with a slight bend down the back straightaway. I got to the race late because I slept in to much. I got to the race site around 7:25 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. Kind of sounds like the Freemont race (lol). After getting my number pinned on my jersey and getting dressed I decided to just warm up a bit on the course. Luckily us Cat 5s are the first ones of the day to race, so the course is open for riding 30 minutes before the race. I went out and road around the course just warming up and spinning. Looking for sections of the road that have problems and how breezy the course was. After a couple laps it was time to get ready to race. I headed over to the start/finish line to find out they were running 15 minutes behind. I just rode up and down the course a bit waiting for them to get organized. I noticed a guy waiting for the race to start that looked familiar. I went up and introduced myself to him and it was the guy that won the Land Park Criterium. His name is Henry and he is a really nice guy and a ver strong rider. I chit chatted with him for a bit about the race and what is going to happen. Finally the race gets going and I am sticking close to Henry (I know he is a strong rider). After the first turn he launches an attack and I just shake my head. We go around the second turn and no one is chasing so I decided to bridge up to him. I go off the front and get about halfway to him and could not make up any distance at all. I was sitting about 5 seconds off of Henry and 5 seconds ahead of the group. Trying to decided what to do, I sat up and eased my pace up to get caught. The only problem with that was, Henry slowed up too, and so did the group. So I was still sitting off the front not going anywhere. I spend half a lap just cruising along and then decide I should try and close that gap between Henry and I. The only problem was, the group decided to chase and I looked back and noticed them making up time. I still kept going and figured if I could get up to Henry we could stay away for awhile, but the pack was closing in to fast and I sat up before the first turn of the next lap. I dropped back into the group sitting about second in line and just cruised for a couple laps. I decided that I would attack again since no one was doing anything (I was getting bored). I went off the front and Henry easily bridged up to me about a half lap later. We stayed off the front for about a lap and then the prime bell rang. We were off the front so I was happy, but now the group was seriously chasing. We managed to stay away to win the prime, although the prime was only one deep, so Henry won it without contest from me. We both just sat up and fell back into the group. Over the next 4 laps I would try to attack, but could not get to far, my legs were not putting down the power anymore, so I went to the back of the back to relax. I just sat back there as Henry continued his constant attacks causing the pack to be like a slinky. Going into turn 1 with three laps to go my right calf started to cramp up, so I had to really pay attention to how I was riding to prevent someething to bad from happening. I just took it easy near the back until the final lap. Then I saw an unaatached rider moving his way forward, so I followed hoping for a good lead out from him. Naturally the unattached rider had nothing in him once he go halfway up in the field. So I was stuck on the back half for the final sprint. Not being near the front, I did not sprint, but picked up the pace. Good race, congrats to Henry for winning. Expect to see me off the front in more races and putting pressure on the field.

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