Tuesday, April 7, 2009

2009 Santa Cruz Classic race report (Elite 3)

The Santa Cruz Classic is an awesome race, and if you're a local, you can't beat a travel time of 5 minutes. The hill on 3rd Street offers an easy way to move up if you've got the legs, and the notably technical course forces riders to keep their wits about them.

Dennis and I had worked out a loose strategy if things transpired as planned (but really, how often is that?). I came into the race with a few personal goals:
  • Establish a presence in the pack. Simply put, I did not want to sit in until the final lap.
  • Represent Team Bicycle Trip especially well at a local race.
  • Try and win the damn thing (seriously). I felt good and knew I could do well.
The race starts with 70 or so riders. I begin towards the back but move up on the hill each lap until I'm among the top 15 riders. We get all get comfortable with the course. Things feel pretty safe overall.

First prime bell goes off. I'm feeling good, and things seem to be slowing up on Front Street... so I go. Hard. I look back and wonder where everyone is. Exhilarated, I cross the line for $20 and decide to keep the pace high instead of the expected post-prime soft pedaling.



A lap later, I'm back in the pack and still feeling good. Just sitting in towards the front... another prime bell rings, and I decide that another $20 wouldn't hurt. This time, I sit in until the hill and let loose on the right side. Again, nobody latches onto my wheel, and I take my second prime. Yay $40, and the announcer mispronouncing my name (but getting "Team Bicycle Trip" right). :)


On the last lap, I was in great position and ready to compete for the win. Unfortunately, things slowed up a lot on Front St and suddenly my position was lost. In retrospect, I should've just gone around the slowness. I held on and managed 14th (almost taking 13th with a bike push) :P.


Though I didn't finish as well as hoped, I had a blast racing. Bryan can verify this, as I had a huge grin on my face after the second prime.

Photos courtesy of Bryan King.

2 comments:

Jim Langley said...

Sounds like a fantastic race Nils. Wonderful job getting those 2 primes and putting Team Bicycle Trip out front!

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