To recap the collegiate racers. We won the C race Saturday, 2nd on Sunday. Took 2nd on Saturday and 1st on Sunday in the B's, and won both days handily on Sunday in the A's. The guys definitely showed their horse and firepower against the competition and are looking better and better with each ride they do!
Moving on to my races. Had 2 teammates in Matti Rowe and Mike Wolfner on Saturday. A 7.7 mile loop with a 1.5 min climb, a fast decent and a 2km dirt section were pretty straight forward. 50 or so toed to the line ready to start their 2013 seasons. The game plan was to be attentive to moves with Matti and I looking for breakaway's and longer moves and setting up Mike for a sprint at the end. Throughout the race, there were only a few attempts at breakaways as the only real good place for one was on the top of the course but the block 25mph headwind negated any attempts to get away, or were quickly swallowed up in the tailwind section. Legs felt great, but nothing was going to happen, so Matti lit it up on the dirt the last lap and I led Mike up the final climb, but went a bit too early for a great lead-out and actually gifted the win to pro mountain biker Bryan Alders as he used his quick 30-45sec power to gap the field and win with a great finish! Mike was able to blast up the hill for a 6th place finish. A good showing in the first race together by us 3. Legs felt good, and according to the power file below, fairly easy race! Placed 32nd/52 after leading out Mike doesn't seem so bad.
Sunday, I was by myself at the Oval Crit in Fort Collins. A great course on the CSU campus. Only about 35 guys showed up on Sunday for the race. Got in a good 60min warm-up on the trainer to be ready to rock from the gun. Race started fairly calm and after a couple laps I ended up off the front with one guy, but the field was ready and chased us down. About midway through the race, there was a group of 5 that got up the road and it seemed fairly serious so I bridged up to this group. Unfortunately not one of the guys knew how to ride a breakaway/rotate and it became a surge/slow fest for the next lap until we were caught. A few null laps went by and as I was pulling off the front of the pack, FasCat athlete Chris Lundberg took off. A great attack as the pace had just been high and others chose not to follow. He quickly built up a gap and we never saw him again. After another lap, a group of 3 got away and still no one would chase. You can see as there is a major lull in power and HR in the 3/4 part of the race file below! Finally in the last lap a few guys hit the front and we had the 3 within striking distance as we hit the Oval. I was second wheel and punched it with about 400m to go, knowing that you had to be 1st coming out of the last sweeping corner. I had it right and almost caught the 3 guys just in front of us. But had to resign myself to 5th for the day. That's the first "Field Sprint" I have ever won, so I was pretty happy about that.
Race Photo of "The Bridge Attempt" Courtesy of (Dejan Smaic)
So overall, a great race weekend!!! Had a blast getting back into the racing scene, and glad I chose to do it. Wish I wouldn't have downgraded from the 1 / 2's. But it will be good to learn how to win again! The only frustratin thing in Cat 3 racing out here in Colorado is the serious "Negative Racing". Everyone races not TO LOSE, and won't take the initiative to chase or make a race hard, and race TO WIN. In the Cat 1 / 2 and Collegiate A's field. It was so awesome to see such aggressive racing, where guys would race for each other and make things happen, not just sit and ride a group ride for 2 hours then sprint the last 200m. In the Crit Sunday, there were about 10 guys who ever saw the front, and I swear there were only 10 of us racing. It was nice to hear compliments from the other guys that were on the front during the race and trying to make things happen.
Moving forward, fitness is great right now and I am working on sharpening the knife over the next month and a half before the big goal of the Tour of Gila! Thanks to the Cycleton Race Team, Cycleton Bike Shop, Specialized, ClifBar, Camelback, Thule and all the great team sponsors! The season is only going to keep getting better.