Monday, April 7, 2008

Jim's Santa Cruz Crit Report

Santa Cruz Criterium Cat 3, April 6, 2008
By Jim Langley (in yellow in the photo)

I've done the Santa Cruz Criterium four times and once took 10th, but this year's race had to be my best, even though I finished at the back of the Cat 3 pack. I'm sure if they'd had a 45+ or even 55+ event I'd have been able to compete even better, but it was thrilling to be in with the zippy young whippersnappers on that screaming-fast course.

The first laps seriously tested my heart-rate ceiling as we sprinted madly out of the hairpin, shot through the corners and then exploded up the climb at a ridiculous pace. Luckily it settled down about four laps in and I was able to hide and recover. Yet, as the race went on, it became obvious that while I might be able to hang and even make it to the front, the class of the field was just waiting to really show their strength at the end of the race. (We easily pulled back the breakway attempts - I helped with one and got a nice pat on the back from another rider for my effort.)

With three laps to go, I got to the front hoping to stay there to have some chance for a decent finish. But the final lap saw the most aggressive and speedy riding of the day, and try as I might, instead of staying forward I frustratingly found myself bumped to mid to back of the pack! I kept charging, though, and hit the last corner very fast and shot up the hill. I passed a few guys who blew but couldn't make any ground on the top guys and probably finished 28th, best guess.

I consider hanging in to the end with such a quick, young bunch, and tearing through those wild corners with them, too, and not crashing (there was one with two laps to go), a really good effort. Thanks to everyone who cheered me on out there. That was a huge boost and kept me focused and fighting and I really appreciate it. See you on the road!


Mark Edwards said...

Great job Jim! You forgot to mention that you did a hill repeat workout that would have crippled most guys the day before this race!

Matt the Ratt said...

Good job Jim. You continue to be an inspiration.


Vladan said...

Fantastic! Racing with some of the future pros on the course that does not really suit you shows just how strong you really are this season.