Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Arsenal Criterium

Today we had Newport, Mitchell, Lavelle, Beers, and myself line up for an 8 corner crit at the naval yard. 8 corners is a lot of corners. 
We talked before the race and developed the plan. There were some decent riders There were 30 something riders but a few stong guys from DC and the Shirks team were the most notable opposition. 
We knew at some point there would be a split and our goal first and foremost was to be in it with at least one guy. That was Plan A.
Photo Doug DiBella

I started covering the moves first. The first few minutes of the race were very hard. I count 22 times over 800w in the first 12 min. That means I was sprinting a lot for the non weenies. We took turns covering moves and it looked promising as Wes jumped into a 5 man move with 2 Shirks.
Photo Doug DiBella
Manny must have gotten lonely because he tried to bridge up as soon as he knew the move was safe. I grabbed his wheel and he pulled me into the group. As I arrived Wes' ticket had been punched and he sadly couldn't stay on. I was now with 3 Shirks, the DC guy and a Yellow guy who’s name I have already forgotten. Damn dehydration.
Photo Doug DiBella
 We worked pretty well together and gained a max of 50 seconds advantage. Shirks had Manny doing zero work in the break.. Bike Doc attacked with 10 or so left and 1 Shirks guy covered. I was 4th wheel. I felt I could not cover the move, one for fear of blowing up as I was kind of gassed, secondly even if I had been physically able to cover, I think one of the 2 Shirks on my wheel would have countered it and I still would have been SOL. Tactically SCREWED.
The 2 remaining Shirks immediately stopped working, leaving me and yellow guy to pull. I asked politely for them to contribute and one of them started working occasionally. They didn't need to work with their guy up the road and could just attack us if the field was getting too close...
Photo Doug DiBella
With 5 to go we were down to 23 seconds advantage. Dan was allowing two QCW (our hosts for the day) riders to pull him closer and closer to my group. It took them a while to figure out why Dan wasn't doing any work, but I’m sure Dan appreciated their efforts.

With 2 to go Manny from Shirks attacked. I couldn't hang on to the wheel. Calvin jumped a second later and I nearly got a hold of him, but they simply overpowered me. We did drop the yellow dude in the process. I spent the last lap by myself riding as hard as I could in hopes one of the Shirks would implode. It didn't happen, but I took 5th.  
Dan rolled in 9th from his move, and Wes took the field sprint for the last money spot for 10th. Newport got pushed into a curb by somebody or else he would have been there with Wes (his leadout). But still managed 12th. 

I am happy with the way we raced today. We looked good and 3 guys went home with checks. I am a little frustrated with fate in the break. The entire time I had "how am I going to win out of this move" looping through my head, and every solution was met with "nope you're effed-a-potomus". Such is life, I am still happy overall.
Photo Bob Wellmon
Some game notes worth mentioning. There were THREE Cadence Foundation races. That's a lot of kids on bikes. Really awesome. 

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