This podium knows that safety always comes first.  Cagey and tactical veteran Dave Allen wins the Memorial Day Crit in the 45 1/2/3s.

This podium knows that safety always comes first.  Cagey and tactical veteran Dave Allen wins the Memorial Day Crit in the 45 1/2/3s.

EVENT
Memorial Day Criterium, Morgan Hill

CATEGORY
45+ 1/2/3

DATE
5/25/2015

TEAMMATES
None

GOALS
Win

PLAN
Attack a lot in the beginning to try to force a break.  If no break, rest with 15 min to go for the sprint.

RACE SUMMARY
Decent size field (40-50 guys) w/ a couple teams represented (Zoca, CoreTechs, Kovaris).

Pretty agressive race right from the start.  On the 2nd or 3rd lap, got in a promising move with 4-5 others.  One guy in particular, Dennis King, seemed really strong but i think he was pulling so hard that the other guys didn't want to work.  This came back after a couple laps.
Soon after, a Cliff Bar guy (Michael Jacques) attacked on a prime lap and got a big gap.  I didn't know him, but i've seen him in a lot of P12 races, so i assumed he was pretty strong and decided to try to bridge up to him and see if we could make something work.  When i got up to him he just sat up.  Not really sure why (when i saw him later in the P12 race, he admitted that he f*cked that one up!).

At that point i knew i had a decision to make:  sit up and wait, or go it alone.  I honestly didn't know yet if i was feeling good, but my legs didn't seem to have any problem with the earlier efforts, so i decided to give it a go for a while.  I figured it was likely that a group would come up to me pretty quickly.

Well, fast forward 3-4 laps.  Still on my own and hating life.  I wasn't killing myself to stay off but it was super windy on the back side.  Every time i hit that stretch, i was wondering why the hell they didn't just catch me already.  Just as i was getting ready to throw in the towel and sit up, i saw a guy bridging up to me.  Turns out it was Dennis King again. 


Knowing already that this guy was strong, it seemed like this was a best case scenario with the only downside being that the represented teams would still have motivation to chase (if they could get it together).  We exchanged a few words and got to it.

2 man breaks in crits are always interesting.  It only took 1 lap before we figured out where each of us would pull and then it was like clockwork.  I would take it from the last turn all the way around to  early on the back stretch (about 2/3 of a lap).  In the beginning, i thought this was a little much, but he had the full head wind section.

I started feeling really good and by the end of each of his pulls i was ready to go hard again.  After about 5 laps we couldn't see the field behind us.  A couple of times i got a little too much adrenaline and could feel myself pulling too hard.  Definitely needed to watch out for this, but the side effect was that it was hurting Dennis.  After a while, i could tell his pulls were getting a little softer.  

Scarily, around 5-6 to go we started seeing the field behind us.  From what i heard, CoreTechs had been putting in a pretty good chase, but they imploded right when they got us back in sight.  The next lap we didn't see them again.

We kept it going hard and agreed to each keep pulling through the final lap.  I took my final lap pull and when i gave him the elbow to come through (about 600m to go) he just stuck to my wheel.  I was still feeling pretty good and was ok with this.  I stuck it all the way in the gutter (so as to only have to watch one side) and kept a moderate tempo, all the while looking and listening for the expected attack, but it never happened.


Coming out of the final turn (200m), i jumped hard and so did he.  It was a drag race to the line and i got him by half a wheel.

Dave Allen wins by a half a wheel.

Dave Allen wins by a half a wheel.

It's really good to get a win and finally be feeling strong again.


Jumped in the P12 race later with the Elite guys.  It was fast but i was able to ride near the front and do some work for the team and make it into a few moves.  By the last few laps, i was cooked and couldn't really do any more for them (though i don't think my earlier efforts really made that much difference either!).  It was fun to see them line it up on the last lap for Garrett.  It looked like a textbook TMB train for the victory, but Tobin is on fire right now and managed to get in there and snatch it away.  Pretty good nonetheless...


TAKEAWAYS
1.  I'm not enough of a TT guy to make a solo move work, but sometimes it's a good way to get a break going, so don't give up too soon.
2.  Confidence wins races.  I really believed that i was stronger in the end than Dennis.  Not sure if i actually was, but i wouldn't have held him off in the sprint if i didn't believe it.
3.  Turbo Cottons w/ latex tubes...  Fast?  Yes.  Pinch flat resistant?  I dunno, but there were a million annoying potholes on the course and i hit them all.  A lot of guys were flatting on them, but i was fine.  Maybe just a miracle...!