Monday, March 30, 2009

Brisbane Criterium & Circuit Races, 45+ 3/4

By Russ Cadwallader

Brisbane went well.

The crit was super dangerous and super fast with three good crashes. Stayed up front for the entire race. Had to really be aggressive to hold my position. Half way into the race I heard them say that a prime was a bike car rack. I usually don't go for primes, but I thought that one was worth it. On the back half of the course I drilled it and left the pack. With a thousand yards to the line I looked back and thought I was all alone, had a thousand yards on the field. At 200 yards a Platinum rider from Santa Barbara surprised me and came onto my wheel. I was in too big of a gear and no joke, he got the prime by 2 or 3 inches. I was so exhausted after that prime. I stopped peddling and let the group catch me. I stayed back around fifteenth wheel thinking that my race was now over and how stupid it was, going for the prime and not getting it. Lap after lap I started feeling better and was finally able to recover and move back up to the front 5 wheels. The last lap was fast. I had to keep punching it to hold position. In the hairpin there was a crash on my left. I avoided it, barely. I was 4th wheel out of the hairpin and was only able to hold that position to the line.

The circuit race was much different for me. Very slow tempo up the hill on every lap. Geoff and I stayed up front the entire race. Dennis was also forward of most riders. A couple of brakes that I knew were not going to stick. Second to last lap, Geoff went up and tried to close a gap on a solo brake. I almost screamed to him to get out of the wind. I knew this guy was history on the last climb to the line. Geoff got out of the wind on the down hill. I was first through the turn at the bottom of the hill. I almost went for it at that point, but backed off and waited for the front of the field. Geoff and I were positioned in the top five up the hill. A few surges, but for the most part, fairly moderate tempo. At 300 yards to the line the pace picked up. It started to bunch up a little and Geoff and I lost a few positions. Someone went into my back wheel fairly hard, found out later that it was Geoff. No bid deal. At 200 yards the sprint went down. Geoff and I were both boxed in. Near the line, I was on the right, saw a gap on the left, went all the way across and was able to move forward. Ended up 8th, Geoff 9th Dennis 11th.

Jeff and I talked about going for it 1000 yards before the line on a pre-race discussion. I though we did OK on the circuit race, but I really think that we should have stuck to our pre-race idea. Jeff was probably the best climber in the field. Going at the bottom of the hill, or half way up, probably would have given him a win. I think I would have faired much better also. Instead, the sprinter had their way with us.

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