The Seattle crit. Sunday.

We woke up at 6:30 to head out for our first, and last, race of the WWU/UW omnium. No snow today!! First off were the D men, followed by the C men. Next were the B women, then the B men. Then the A women, and finally us–at 1:30. There was a lot of waiting around. During which I took 3.5 poops!!

As for the results, not including the A men’s race, Lisa Turnbull won the A women’s field (big surprise!). Lary took 4th in the D men’ crit, Andrew took 11th in the B men’s race, and Karey took 11th in the Women’s B field. Most of the rest of the team placed top 20 in their races. So this week wasn’t a great success. Tony, who couldn’t make the collegiate race this weekend but raced Piece of Cake road race, took first in the cat 4s.

Back to the parking lot in Seattle:
After completing my fourth trip to the bathroom, I suited up and began the long process of warming up before a crit. I began with about an hour on the trainer, followed that with some honey and stretching, then more trainer, and finally topped it off with more honey. I was feeling pretty good, but not great. It’s been about 4 weeks since I’ve felt great.

The women’s A race had just ended when I took my bike off the trainer and discovered that I had a rear flat. Takuya lent me his spare wheel (thanks T) and I rolled up to the start line. This is the third time in 7 races that I haven’t had any power data because I have gotten flats before or during the race. So, according to Ivar, because there was no power data, this race was a waste of time and there really was no point in doing it. Ivar also had no power data because he deleted his CPU right after his race on accident. HA.

The first 10 minutes of the hour long crit were fast. David, Peter, and I attacked a lot but nothing that we were involved in stayed away permanently. After 10 or 15 minutes, a UW guy got away and stayed away by himself for the rest of the race. Wow.

I attacked a number of times throughout the race but I didn’t have the oomf in my legs to keep cranking out the watts after the initial sprint. I guess that will come a bit later in the spring/summer for me. I feel like a have great endurance, but the power and ability to recover quickly from a hard effort just isn’t in me yet.

The end was approaching quickly, and no one seemed to be able to get away on the hilly course. But with 3 or 4 laps to go, Peter and 2 other guys broke off and stayed away. Peter took 4th. Not too bad considering this was his 3rd race in 2 years.

By the last lap, there wasn’t much of a pack left. These collegiate races aren’t as big as OBRA events, so there are no fields of 50+ riders. We started out with about 30 or so, and after a number of people had dropped out, there were probably only 15 left in the peloton by the end. I was sitting at the back of the pack coming down the final hill of the last lap, and I jumped on the back wheel of an OSU guy as he made his way to the front. He stopped short though, and so did I. My legs were feeling decent enough by then because I hadn’t attacked for at least 3 laps, so I made a split decision and decided to go for the finish line at the bottom of the hill–which was probably a bit too early. The hill starts out “steep” (but not very steep) and flattens out a bit and curves around to the finish with only a slight uphill grade. I just barely held off Adam Cadez, from Idaho, and took first in the pack sprint and 5th overall. I wasn’t pleased with the place I got, but wasn’t super upset either.

The rest of the team was eager to get home to watch TV, so I didn’t get a very good cool down in before the 6 hour van ride back home to Eugene. The highlight of the van ride home was chasing Ivar with a stick in a Safeway parking lot during one of our rest stops. And also telling mom jokes over the van radios. And I can’t forget the amazing discussion our van had about the possible solutions to the energy crisis/global warming/overpopulation. David had the best idea: fiber optic cables supported by a new kind of carbon fiber that would go all the way up into space and to the moon, where solar panels would collect the sun’s energy.

It was a hell of a lot of driving for a 60 minute crit. But it was a fun trip and everyone kept a positive attitude despite the god damn snow that fucked everything up. God damn it. Well….maybe I didn’t keep a positive attitude.