Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Quad Cities Criterium Cat 1/2

This crit is a fast, eight corner flat downtown race with a great atmosphere.  I decided to make the three hour drive out to Rock Island, Illinois.  I did some longer rides with teammates the previous few days so I wasn't the freshest.  When I got there I remembered they staged the start by race number.  I was number 110, so I was starting in the back.  I'm guessing there was a field of around 120 guys.  I've been doing this awhile though, so during all the pre-race call ups and movement to make way for the guys coming through I was able to sneak up to the middle.  

The pace was pretty fast from the beginning.  I wanted to make my way up to the front, but so did everyone else.  It took me like five laps to get up there, but by then a few groups had gotten off the front.  I'm not capable of being in an hour and a half long breakaway anyway, so I knew it was time to sit on.  Sometimes you have to take the risk that the race will go up the road, and this time it did.

One guy who I guess won the day before managed to attack one of the breaks and he lapped the field.  When I saw his teammate bring him by me I knew they were going to the front to drill it, so I moved up again.  His teammates seemed to be driving it pretty hard, but in a field that big it's easy to sit in so I couldn't really tell how fast we were going.

At the end, a few attacks went away from our group, which I think was the main field.  I was sort of baffled when guys weren't grabbing those wheels, but then again I didn't either so I can't really say anything.  And most of those guys raced the previous few days.  Apparently there was a separation somewhere behind me so our group wasn't that big.  The announcer said that our group still had some money spots available, so I stayed toward the front and sprinted for fifth or so in the group.  It was only good for 46th place though, which was a surprise to me since I didn't think there were more than 18 or so guys left up the road.  Well, I guess that's what happens when the field is so big that you can't see the front of it from anywhere on the course.  It was a hot day, a fast race, with plenty of corners, and I was never in any difficulty.  That's good because I haven't felt too good on the bike the last few weeks.  Hopefully I'm coming out of it.

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