Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Carerra de San Rafael

Date: 9/9/06
Course: .9 mile, 4 corner, downtown Criterium with a small hill.
Category: Master 35+ 1/2/3
Teammates: Channing
Field: 51+
Placing: 32nd

Photo links:

This was a race originally run for the pro’s only. It’s been gone for a while but it came back last year. The race now has limited categories. Master 35 1/2/3 being one of them, there was no Elite 3. I was looking forward to doing a Master 1/2/3 race without first racing an Elite 3 race. With the Giro behind me and Cyclocross coming on the horizon, this would be my last Crit of the season. Entered in the race were a bunch of heavy-hitters. Spine, Safeway and Morgan Stanley were real close for the NCNCA overall point’s series and AMD had more then a few guys to upset the mix. I knew this would probley be the hardest race I have done in a while~ if ever…..

I was there early and got a good look at he setup. It was real nice. It’s a downtown Crit (my favorite) with very smooth pavement overall, a cool course. I got a solid warm-up and some stretching. I felt pretty good but had a bit more nervous energy than in the Giro, just a few days ago. I had wanted to get a front row start but ended up in the 3rd row.

At the start guys in front bogged in the pedals and I got shafted into 30th+, not to worry though, I made up a few spots after a couple laps. I found my groove and the inside line was working really well for me, especially on the short uphill. I was doing pretty well and I made a point to stay up at the sharp end of the race. About 20 minutes into it, a good size break was getting some distance. In the 3’s I wouldn’t have been to concerned but in Masters 1/2/3 breaks can and will stay away on occasion. I was in the front of the main group and I had the crazy idea that I was going to bridge the gap to the break. I ran up the inside of the short hill and attacked up over the top and down the long decent. I realized that when I got on to the finish straight and hadn’t caught on, I was in trouble. I chased back up the short hill and the break was slowing and the main pack gaining. I sat up and hoped I could recover and jump on to the fast moving train. I saw Channing go by and was worried I might not latch on. I got a bit of luck as the group freewheeled a bit and I got on, YA! Oh that was close.

From there I just tried to move up. We got the 9 laps to go card and the laps went by real fast, (1 min, lap times? and 26+mph avg) It was all strung out single file mostly from there on out. I clawed my way back up somewhat and on the last lap gunned it through the finish line and up the hill. On the decent it was way strung out and I only moved up a little. I had a good sprint in the end. I was, at this point, just happy to finish. What a cool experience. Good vibe, fast racing, fun course. Not to mention following Larry Nolan’s wheel around. Good stuff….I will do this race again next year.

I might do the Mt Tam HC…might not. The road season is over for me but the racing will be heating up as Cyclocross is upon us! Time to drag out the running shoes....


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