Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Un-expected weekend of Criteriums

This weekend passed by just like the haze of colors seen when driving down an interstate. I had Bike the Bricks penciled in on my calendar which happened to fall on the Friday before Memorial weekend. I hadnt done much riding since returning home for Xterra Alabama, so I had decided to race two categories to get some ride time in. Needless to say these happen to be back to back races. I managed a 2nd overall in the first race and a comfortable pack finish on the second race. For the two races at a combined 1h30min ride time I believe my avg speed was around 27mph. Hot out of the gates and the racing took off at a blistering pace. 

I took Saturday as a normal training day, producing a 6 mile run and a swim. I had heard about other Criterium racing happening over the rest of the weekend. One which really sparked an interest was the "Skilz" based Texas State Championships. On the Sunday there would also be a race about 3 miles from my back door so it seemed wrong of me not to pedal over and support the local race. I managed to get into a breakaway with another rider from San Antonio and once we had peeled back a gap on the chasing bunch, I relied on what little memories I had of my race tactics from my Track Velodrome days back in South Africa. On the final stretch before making a right hand turn onto the straight finish I forced him to the front and sat his wheel. When he started to wind up his sprint, his legs showed fatigue and I knew then that I had the race in the bag. 

On Monday morning I made my way to the priority race for the weekend. Texas State Champs. I must have missed the memo because when I rolled up to the start line with 10 mins till the gun I found myself sitting on the back of the pack. Aggression must have been the subject for the day, with a 1 mile circuit hosting 10 ninety degree turns it seemed the race would come down to good positioning in the bunch. With an attempt or two I tried to get away but much like Friday I soon realized I was a marked man. With RBM Team, Sun and Ski and a few other strong contenders showing up with more team numbers I decided to change my tactics mid way through the race. I played the waiting game and took the opportunist approach. Working on my positioning in the bunch almost every lap, making sure I was near the front which in the end paid dividends. I came around the final corner in first place and glanced back to see a major crash.(click below)

Winning Texas State Champs

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