2013 McDowell Mountain Crit
Sunday at McDowell felt a little better (then the SunDevil Crit). I worked with Roy Quade and Robert Tompkins to hammer the modest hill every lap, alternating pull intervals for the hill climb. For the last lap there were only half a dozen of us remaining and I attacked off the front on the hill climb, achieving a 50-60 ft gap just before the turn at the top of the hill. After the turn, the grade flattens out for the last quarter mile or so to the finish, and I could hear them coming. With about 100m to go, a 3-man train (Puchi, ??, Snyder) powered by me and I could do nothing about it, so I ended up 4/13. I do feel that I managed this race as well as possible, I just wasn’t quite strong enough to build up an insurmountable gap when I attacked on the hill. I am pretty sure the hill was hurting them worse than it was hurting me.
Looking forward to VOS.
My morning started off with a nice cup of coffee. Fresh off the White Tanks mountain bike race my legs were feeling great. Yes, I did say my legs were feeling great. As I walked out the door to drive another 125 miles to McDowell Mountain Park my 4 year yells good “luck racing daddy!” Ah, a smile crest my face and I say thank you.
I don’t know how much snow Tucson receives but it was snowing in Cottonwood. I was looking forward to a warmer day in Phoenix. When I drove to McDowell MTP it was about 55 degrees. Nice day for a race. Much better then snow.
I did my usual pre-race set up. Grabbed my number, set up the trainer, ya da ya da ya da. I saw Mike ride by the van and said “hi.” He seemed pretty focused. I finished my warm up and headed down to the line and saw Peter and Richard.
The McDowell Mountain Crit is not really a crit. It is more like a short circuit race. The course is 1.6 miles and climbs 48 feet per lap. Just enough for a little pain. This was also the first race that I’ve been at that used chip timing. That was pretty cool for the results at the end of the race. The weather was overcast and light wind.
We started right on time. Not much of a pre-race wait. Bonus! The first lap a rider went off the front. The course starts on a slight decline. This makes for a 30 + MPH start. It reminds me why I do a good warm up. Plus, the course serpentines down to the first right hand corner. This was not technical at all. When the turn was made we rode on a flat section for about a quarter mile before the small climb. The climb was about 0.4 miles. Not really that bad. The guy who went off the front was nowhere to be found. That was not going to last that long because of the speed of the west side of the course. On the down hill we regain contact.
There was no excitement until the 5th lap. This is when a prem was announced. Some guy went off the front. I didn’t know who he was but the rest of the racer seemed excited. We were averaging 3:53 per lap and now the prem lap threw us down to 3:38. Nice! I didn’t feel any particular distress but my highest watts of the race came with that attack. We caught him right before the turn to the start finish. It was perfect time to attack and sure enough someone blew off the front to take the prem.
Now, I’m guessing but the next 2 prems were on lap 9 because on lap 10 I attacked on the first part of the east side climb. I tried to bridge up with 2 guys off the front. To no avail I was put back in my place. I didn’t have the snap to gap the group. The penultimate lap was followed by some lazy riding and some attacks. The 2 guys were still off the front.
The last lap was our fastest of the race. We averaged 27.6 MPH and during the climb we didn’t drop below 22 MPH. 3:26! The 2 guys were caught just before the last corner which kind of sucks for them. Mike and I were in poor positions to sprint and so we rode in at the middle of the pack. I ended up 19 and Mike was 15.
Overall results for the day: