Whew, where do we start. Interesting race weekend. This weekend was the Winfield "V" (e.g. 5th annual) Criterium series. First time competing in both races and it was a blast. All the fun started Saturday night with the Cat4 Twilight crit. We were represented by Andy, Eric, Matt and myself. A strong group ready to do some damage.
The race evening began a bity shaky. Simply, getting a bit lost and underestimating the traffic on I-90. Suffice it to say, I only arrived with 20 minutes to spare. Not ideal. Anyways, after a quick check in, change of clothes and a ten minute warm-up, it was off to the start line for a pre-race lap with the group. The course was great, a curving 1 kilometer course through a Winfield neighborhood with a solid climb immediately after the start/finish. Not a straight corner in site. It was great!
Now about that race. From the gun, the race started out fairly quick as per the Cat4 style. Immediately in lap two there was a brief attack which was quickly reeled in. I then jumped on the hill the next time up, gapped and sat out until the pack pulled me back. A few more attacks occurred but for the most part the pack stayed tight. At this point we began dropping riders and had our first prime. Nothing crazy but a good opportunity to feel out a possible sprint finish. Eric came to the front and rode tempo and covered some attacks - Nice! With three laps to go we had a gambler's prime. Kyle from Wheelfast came to the front mid way up the hill and attacked. Eric quickly covered with me right on his tail and Andy on mine. As we crested the hill, Kyle began to pull away a bit. I jumped to cover and by the final turn before the finish I was on Kyle's wheel. I came around and snagged the prime and found myself with a multiple bike length gap. Seeing the lead and hearing the crowd, I decided to go for it. Theory - I can hold off or I can string it out for Andy. It was awesome, everyone cheering, adrenalin flowing, just awesome. Heading into the bell lap I still had the lead but the pack was closing in. By the base of the hill on the final lap the pack had shut me down. As they swallowed me up I stood up for a few strokes and realized I was done. Andy came blazing past me right on the tail of the leaders jumping at the top of the hill and holding out for 5th place (Andy please fill in the details!). I faded quickly and finished in the back. Eric finished mid-pack, his work done and Matt pulled in the rear with me as cramping nearly shut him completely down.
All in all a great race. Great job Andy!