Lodi Crit Masters 123 45+
To win. This really has been my one goal this whole year – to win one race…. Any race.
Plan to try to get in to a break because it’s a windy tight turned race and it seemed like one for a break. Steve said Romin won it last year from a break.
The teams that had a presence were Chronos and Make a wish. There were a few other strong riders but I honestly didn’t know who was who except for Theobald. There were break attempts the entire race and I went with a lot of them… more than I should have. They all seemed so possible. I stayed top 5 for most of the race because I didn’t want to get shuffled back. It’s a tight twisty race and it can be kind of hard to move up. Short story is none of the breaks held and I regretted wasting all that energy. On the last lap I was 2nd place behind a Chronos guy or an Airgas guy. I didn’t think they were going very hard and I was looking for the swarm from behind but it didn’t come. Only two guys passed on the 2nd to last corner. But before the start of the race I estimated that the sprint is long enough that you could pass people in it – which is what I did. I was able to pass two people and took it buy a decent length I think.
I’m really happy. I’ve finally won a race. I felt good about it going in to it and wanted to win. I also wanted to prevent previous shortcomings from previous crits which is to lose too many places on the last lap. The recent surge of wins form the team encouraged me too. I’m eager to do more. I really can’t say if you could have predicted that sitting in was the thing to do but for the few crits I’ve done this year, it seems sitting in is the smarter thing to do. This one was so strung out from the turns I thought a break could easily happen but it didn’t in either race.
[video from Shawn Bagley/Team Ritte]
Lodi Crit Masters 123 35+
Steve – who forgot his bag and borrowed an extra kit of mine. For shoes…… Nike sneakers with platform pedals and toe clips borrowed from god knows who.
I don’t really know. I just wanted to do well. I wasn’t sure how tired I was from the previous race.
No plan really. Maybe try to help Steve bridge up to a break if one formed.
This race had more of the big hitters from Specialized an Chronos. There was also decent team representation from Lange Twins. I think it was a decent size field – maybe 60. The race was much faster and much sketchier. There were probably about 4 or 5 crashes. There was one bozo on a bike from the 80s as well as an old jersey from the 80s who rode sketchy. He kept yelling at everyone and I tried to stay away from him. Turns out it was Chad Gearlach with a comeback I guess. Steve and I both went for one break which was unsuccessful. With about 8 laps to go Steve and I were near the front. He said to stay with him and to relax. I basically was able to follow his wheel because of the kind of course it is. He kept looking back to make sure I was there. I wasn’t really sure what he could do. With 3 to go he got in front and pulled for 2 laps while everyone yelled for us to go faster. He was keeping a good pace but no so high that you couldn’t pass us. There’s a back straight and the front finish straight where you can pass but they didn’t. I was looking for the time they would. With ½ lap to go La Berge and another jumped past us and I got on their wheel. Then a Specialized guy blasted buy and swerved so hard that he took out his own teammate who was also trying to pass. The crash looked pretty nasty. Anyway, I’m not sure exactly what happened but on the sprint Laberge and the other guy were too far for me to catch. I sprinted and almost got caught but kept 3rd place. Laberge 2nd and a Folsom guy for 1st.
I’m perfectly happy with this result but I think I should have gone a little harder when I saw La Berge go buy. I think I was on his wheel actually but the crash may have mixed things up… I’m not sure. Steve’s 2 lap lead out helped to simply keep position because of the tight course and everyone’s unwillingness to pass before the last lap for some reason. And finally, on the way home I revealed to Steve that the shorts I loaned him had not been washed since my two previous rides.