Monday, February 12, 2007

Sanford Lakefront Criterium (2/10/07)

The weather was warm, with a headwind on the front straight, and a tailwind on the back. The course was shortened to 4 corners this year, with a nice section of brick/cobbles after the first turn...just to add some excitement.

The field was pretty big, and contained a full squad from Aerospace Engineering, Preferred Alliance, Cyclescience and many others. The race was fast, with a bunch of "physical contact." Curtis Long took the first $20 preme, and was riding very strong when one of the Aerospace guys cut sharply to avoid a manhole cover and hooked his front wheel. He went down hard, and landed on his hand...and somehow badly bruised his heal (not to mention trashing one of his newly rebuilt wheels).

I covered many breaks, and took a preme. Late in the race we missed a large break with about 4-5 Aerospace, 2 Cyclescience, several Preferred Alliance, and several others. I bridged up solo, and we started gaining time. At one point we were out of sight, until Chris Frederick attacked...and nobody wanted to bring him back. We all stopped pedaling, and went back to the pack.

With 4-5 laps to go Ryan Stoner brought me closer to the front, and with 2 to go Jeff Kopp brought me a little further. Jason Snow from Cyclescience jumped really hard on the back straight, and high-jacked Aerospaces leadout. He won the race with 2 Aerospace guys right behind him. I was a little far back, but was able to pass Joel Chavez at the line for 9th.

We're still working out our tactics as a team, and this was a good start to the season as a full squad.