Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Snowball Crit #2 March 6, 2011

The weather was not going to be nice for the second Snowball race of the year.  It wasn't going to be too cold, so a little wet roads and rain would simply make it a classic fall race.  For me, racing in the rain is tough.  Drafting is pretty much out, and there are always attacks and the race breaks up quickly.

The CAT 3/4 race started out with a solo flyer who was dangling out front.  He wasn't going anywhere and it was actually nice just to let him hang out for a while.  I think he lasted 3-5 laps.  Then my teammate, John Gray, initiated an attack to bridge to the solo break.  The break was covered and it strung the field out.  Then in corner number 2, someone decided to go straight and caused a crash.  The crash created a little chaos and the pressure was still on at the front.  This allowed John, Tim Pope and another rider to form a gap.  I decided that I could probably bridge up to them without pulling anyone with me.  That is what I did.  One really hard lap effort and I was on the back without bringing anyone with me.  The problem at that point was that I was not feeling comfortable in the turns.  I think I had too much pressure in my tires (110 psi on clinchers).  I was getting a lot of skipping of my tires through the turns.   Every turn I was allowing a bike length gap to form and them having to close it was burning my matches quickly.

I ended up getting dropped from the break leaving my teammate and two other riders.  I went back to the next chase group of 4 riders ( I made number 5).  This group was led by Dan Netzer who was chasing hard.  I had a teammate up the road and just sat on.  At this time I started to get a lot more comfortable on the turns and was able to reduce the skipping of my wheels.  Dan, with not much help, was starting to bring back the break.  I took a couple of rotations to slow them and to break up the momentum.  That solidified the breaks lead and ensured they would be caught.  By the time we came to the finish, the break was 2 riders (John and Tim) and the chase was 4 riders.  I led out the final lap and gave it all I had for a strong finish.  John ended up with a 2nd place finish being out sprinted by Tim and I got 4th.

It was a good race for us, 2 riders in the top 5 is always a good thing.  The rain really started to come down and we both chose not to start the 1/2/3 race.

Photo by Kevin Horvath
Photo by Kevin Horvath
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