Blue Dome Crit
If you weren’t excited for critmas then you needed to check your pulse. The starting corral had nearly 30 guys in it a half hour before the start time and without call ups you needed to get in there early. I sat in the corral with ice down my back and tried to relax as best I could. The race before the race is the 100 meter sprint from the corral to the start line. I was able to squeeze my way to a second row position but was on the inside of the first turn. That didn’t turn out too bad since the next three turns were the other direction and I could move up to the front by going wide and pedaling. I stayed around the top 5 positions until the first prime. I was second wheel. The racer on the front gave me a very generous half lap effort and once he faded I made my jump and pocketed some gas money. For the next 15 or so laps I went into auto pilot in the draft but made sure I could keep an eye on the front. With five laps to go I switched off thoughts and just reacted. No unnecessary efforts and taking every wheel I wanted. On the last lap I stayed around 5th position. The pace was hard enough to keep the swarms down and around the last turn we sprinted and I kept 5th place. I raced smart and was lucky to stay out of the crashes.
Brady Arts District Crit
Once again it was a race before the race. I thought 45 minutes early to the starting corral would be good, but no, there were already 50 guys there. I once again squeezed up the best I could but was starting in the middle of the third row. I had one goal the first lap, to get to the front, and it took the whole lap to get there and quite an effort for starting a race cold. I maintained on the front and put in a few efforts to get warmed back up. After 20 or so minuets I finally felt warm and hid around top 20 for a while. With 6 laps to go the swarms were coming on every straight. Everyone wanted to be on the front but no one wanted to work. I found myself stuck in the middle of the pack and knew moves around the outside were not going to work. My only option was to move up from within. I turned off thoughts and just reacted, moving into gaps that I wouldn’t even think about in any other race. I was bumping shoulders and elbows until the last lap. I slotted into 5th or 6th position around the last few turns and the guys on the front kept the pace high enough to keep the swarms back. Around the last turn it seemed like 4 guys blew up and one took off for the sprint and I started mine as well. I didn’t realize I was sprinting for second until I crossed the line and only saw one man in front of me.
River Parks Crit
Everything you’ve heard about Cry Baby Hill is true. I was definitely feeling the previous two days of racing and this one hurt the worst. All I could do was follow wheels and on the last two laps I just didn’t have it to get on the front. I finished 17th and stayed out of the wrecks. I was probably in the minority of people that didn’t go down this weekend, which might be a bigger accomplishment than doing 5 Tulsa Tough races and never finishing worse than 17th. By far my favorite event and cannot wait for next year.
A big thank you to Prologue Racing sponsors, RideBiker Alliance, Swiftwick Socks, Bike.America.KC, Catena Imports USA, Rudy Project North America, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, crankbrothers, Life Balance Sports & Wellness, Smiles By Design, Jocelyn Rivard Properties, KC Running Company and Vancebikelawyer!
Photo Credit: James Gann