Cyclosports Criterium

Posted: June 1, 2010 in Uncategorized

Wow, what a day Saturday was. Here’s a quick dump to start then on to the details. Woke up, ate breakfast, made pizza dough, went over to the Cyclosports Criterium to do day of registration, stopped off at work to take care of something, back home, off to Brentwood to pick cherries with the family (very fun by the way), back home, lunch, power nap, change clothes, warm up on the trainer, ride over to the crit, race, crash, go to hospital, get x-rayed, go home, make homemade pizza, eat, shower and scrub road rash, dress wounds, go to bed. Whew, I’m tired just writing all of it. Now onto the race and aftermath.

The Cyclosprots Criterium is the Junior District/State Championship and was run at the Brisa Avenue Crit course in Livermore, a course with 2 long strait aways, 2 short straits, 4 90 degree turns, and a wide open chicane over ~0.8 miles. I raced the Cat 4/5 race and from the gun things were a bit weird. First of all, I had only seen ~2 folks in the 30+ field before, pretty unusual these days for me. Second, as soon as we took off, a rider immediately in front of me held me up because he had BOTH feet unclipped and I had to chase just to catch on. I didn’t want to be at the back of the pack, so I worked myself up toward the front. This took a few laps because the speed was fairly high and the field was stringing out. Once I got to the front my plan was to sit in and keep an eye out for the one guy I really knew well. He has whooped me at the track in the past so I was planning on getting on his wheel and going with him when he attacked. Us Hellyerites tend to stick together, so I figured if he went early then I’d work with him and if he went late, I’d sit on and sprint around him :).

He didn’t go early and we all basically sat in with a couple onesy-twosy breaks and a few accelerations. I was working inside and outside positioning on the turns and was not happy with either. From the inside I felt like things got awful tight when we hit the apex, but on exit the outside was a bit nervous too. This was all due to not going wide enough on the entrance to the turns. In the middle, it just felt tight all around. I knew, however, that I wanted to be on the inside coming out of the last turn because I could carry a bunch of speed and there was a slight right to left crosswind, so I could use the draft of the riders I was overtaking.

With 2 laps to go, I was comfortably on my guy’s wheel in the inside going into turn 3 when he jumped. I was right on him, but he has a strong acceleration, so a bit of a gap, ~1/2 bike length, opened up going into 4. The crash occurred at the apex of turn 4 and I’m not quite sure of all of the details, but I do know that I had no time to hit my brakes, or yell, or avoid what was happening. At the time, I was sure that I had position on the rider and he just chopped me going into to the corner, but my memory is a bit foggy and as time went on the less certain I was about what happened. I figure one of 3 things could have happened. 1. What I said above, I had position and he wasn’t paying attention. 2. I didn’t have position and when he dove in for the apex, I was just there. 3. He was trying to jump on the attack when he saw the slight gap, he went for it, and I was there. No matter what the circumstance though, I was on the ground and I wouldn’t have been there if I hadn’t put myself in the precarious position, so I won’t be doing that again.

While I was lying there, I could tell my helmet was broken, but I wasn’t having any neurological issues, thanks Bell Helmets. The EMTs cleared me to go home but since my helmet was so badly broken, they requested that I go to the hospital to get checked out anyway.

Now it’s time for the insult to injury part of this post. I was planning on riding home after the race since it was only ~1 mile, but obviously I needed a ride. Normally when I put the bike on top of the car, I drive and I take the garage door remote and put it in the center console so I don’t forget. Well, the wife was driving and I was not in the right mental state to “mind the bike.” We tore it off the roof with the house. Ooof.

Verdict: From the crash: Helmet, gloves, jersey, bibs, saddle–>destroyed. Hip–>Hamburger. Shoulder–>Flank Steak. Arms, legs, knees–>not too bad, considering. Broken Bones–>none. From the Garage: Fork–>destroyed. Head tube–>slightly bent at the bottom where the headset cup goes in (need to get checked out.), thank god for steel. The pizza was good, the shower, not so much. No racing on the 4th for me, road rash on top of road rash doesn’t sound very appealing, I’ll see you all soon.

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