Sunday, March 20, 2011

The #4 Win Of The Season: R.I.R. Criterium

Richmond International Raceway Criterium @ Garmin Connect

I came into the Richmond International Raceway Criterium today wanting to redeem my self for yesterday's fatal mistake for my 3rd place finish at the Black Hills Circuit Race. As you can probably guess this was on a car racing track, a very fast sloped-turn track with a pretty bad headwind for anyone off the front. Going into the race, I knew no one was strong enough to get away here by themselves. And if more than one man went I'd be right up front to go after them. My plan for the race was to sit top 3-5 the whole time taking a couple pulls my self on the inside line and setting my own pace. My goal was to keep everyone together so that there would be a pack sprint which I was 99% sure that I could win.
The first half of the race went completely to plan until there was a crash in the middle of the pack. Well over 20 riders went down and the race was stopped for the ambulance and the broken bike parts to be picked up off the course. It took a good 10 minutes for the race to start again with a neutral lap followed by 5 remaining laps of the race to the finish line. I did the same thing I had done in the beginning of the race and stuck with my plan. With a lap to go I got out to the front and was able to position my self perfectly on the inside of the track. This was exactly where I needed to be because I was setting my own comfortable pace before the sprint, and I was covering all inside attacks plus any outside attacks that I could see very clearly.

With 500m to go, two riders, both on the same team, jumped from the outside. The one leading was pulling his teammate toward the finish, I recognized this and kept calm. I knew that they would be wasting a lot more energy than I was to cover the same amount of distance, because they attacked on the outside of the turn where there is more track to ride. I waited till the end of the turn to jump off and sprint. The sprint was much easier than I thought it was going to the time I had gotten to the line first, I was almost 30m in front of 2nd on a 200m sprint. I'm really happy with the result today and especially the fact that I didn't crash. This was my type of race and I felt in control the entire time.

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