Thursday, April 30, 2015

Chris Lillig Memorial/Old Capitol Criterium cat 3 Race Recap

This past weekend, the Harvest Racing team travelled to Iowa City for the Chris Lillig/Old Capitol Criterium Omnium. As a cat 3 racer, I was unable to race the with the Elite team in the cat 1-2 (only) races. That meant pinning on my number as a free-lancing cycling-gypsy against a field that included three solid teams: Mercy/University, Rasmussen and Sakari.

In the road race, I managed to get into an early break with two from Sakari and one from Rasmussen. The four of us managed to stay away for a lap before Mercy pulled us back and reset the field. A short time later, I found myself in a another break, but it was only short-lived. From there I settled into the push to the finish, chose the wrong wheel to follow, and finished eight in the field sprint.

The time trial was an hour after the road race. I'll be honest: I didn't have one of my better TTs. I suppose that I was worked-over pretty well from the road race. I finished ninth among cat 3s.

At the end of the first day, I was sitting 8th on the omnium that paid five deep. That meant I had to get busy on Sunday if I wanted to be part of the omnium.

While Saturday was cold, wet and windy, Sunday's weather was beautiful: sunny and mid 60s. The Old Capitol Criterium featured a steep descent followed by 90 degree right-hand turn, then a straight away into a headwind, followed by another right hand 90 degree turn before a punchy climb. From there, it was flat with four more turns (L-R-L-R) before a dash to the start/finish. In all, it was 25 laps or about 55 minutes. Although I hadn't raced this course before, I quickly found it to my liking, especially railing the turn after that descent. Anyway, in the first lap, one of the Sakari guys rolled off the front and quickly was out of sight. I expected Rasmussen and Mercy guys to jump, or at least chase and bring him back. In either case, I was patrolling the front and ready for the move. But nothing happened. I then tried to get the peleton to chase, yelling at several of the Rasmussen and Mercy guys. A few individual efforts resulted, but there were no team efforts. A young Rasmussen rider told me that his team mates were at the back and suffering, so we had no help. To make matters worse, I flatted. After taking a free lap, it was too late to try to pull the Sakari rider back. I sat on for the remainder of the race, staying near the front while protecting my position for the field sprint. I finished fourth (5th overall) in the sprint probably a half a bike from winning it.

The fifth place at the criterium was enough to put me on the final step of the omnium podium.

In all, the Iowa City cycling club put on a great race. I look forward to returning there next year, if for nothing else, for that downhill and sweeping right turn.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Nice work, Brady! You guys are having pretty good season so far!