Santa Catalina Omnium
The UofA crit course was pretty fun, long and fast save one very tight, very technical corner. Early in the day, when it was cold, the paint in the crosswalk there was super slick, 7 separate crashes in race #1!
I went out to try some different ways of breaking away to see if one would stick. I’m just trying to learn and develop some skill and instinct really. So if I don’t crash and I learn to be a better racer, it’s all good!
Nobody got away in my race, myself included. After reviewing the race I now know how I could’ve won. Whoever was first into that tricky corner, which is the last corner on the race, was first to the finish line. I should have slammed past everybody on the front half of the race on the last lap and just buried it on the back half. If they all followed my wheel, no matter, because once you’re approaching that corner, there’s no passing and so much speed is scrubbed in that turn, that whoever is there first has a huge jump.
As it turned out, I was 7th overall and 4th in my group. I made my hardest move in the 2nd to last lap and it didn’t stick, so I just chased down people that were in the omnium competition on the last lap. I let one slip away, I didn’t realize he was up there.
It was nice having Rich Horn there cheering me on! I’m looking forward to racing with some teammates tomorrow in Oracle. If I win the race I win the omnium. But, twice up that cat2 climb is a tall task. Should be fun.
Rubber side down and GO!
Here’s the footage:
A quick recap of yesterday’s events to start your Monday.
Gene, Rich S, and I were in the masters 4/5 35+ race. For the omnium I was in 2nd place, behind by 7 points. So, if I won the road race, no matter what happened, I won the omnium, too.
The course was 2 laps, down the hill a back up. The day was windy and started pretty cold, even a small patch of ice on the road!
Down the hill was without event but our group was pretty large. Going down hill that fast with gusty cross winds in cold weather in a cat 4/5 and collegiate b/c kids is unsettling! But, we made it.
First shot up the hill was punchy. This is my first attempt at matching anything in a road race in almost 3 years and I was in trouble near the top. I decided to ease off and catch back on down the hill.
As soon as I did, I saw the cattle guard, marking the top. There’s still climbing after that but it’s more my style. I could see them but couldn’t catch back on. They started attacking each other and were soon out of sight.
I wasn’t sure, but I thought there were 2 guys in that group that were in my race. I sat up and waited for a big strong dude that got dropped before me and we worked together through town, picked up a college kid on the way down.
I kept thinking how pissed I’d be for sitting up there if it cost me the race. But, even on the long downhill we couldn’t see that lead group. We just weren’t closing in. The headwind made it tough and they were obviously working together.
So, about half way down I stopped taking normal pulls and just went full gas for 2 minutes. Then, I saw the group … way ahead still. I redoubled my efforts and at the bottom of the hill we were just 25 yards behind. We caught them easily then.
I joined the pace line, there were about 10 total, including the two I brought down the hill. As I examined the two masters riders in the group I saw they were NOT in my race. All I needed to do to win was sit in and not crash.
That’s what I did. Back up the hill, the two older guys worked over all of the kids. I just rode tempo up the hill and dropped everybody but the one kid I brought down the hill. Turned out he had a chance to win his race so I worked for him, well tried too. On the downhill section coming into town he lost my wheel … I was going 53 in a 25, not sure what happened there. Anyhow, he won his race too.
It was great riding with Gene and Rich and seeing Rick out there, too.
Enjoy your week.