2011 Wente Crit

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Crit

Being one of the organizers for the Wente Vineyards Classic Road Race and Criterium makes for a unique set of circumstances leading into a race as typical preparation such as rest, recovery, and the like are replaced with sleep deprivation, long stressful hours away from the family, convenient, but generally poor food choices, and little or, in this case no warmup at all. Thirty-eight riders heard the wistle blow precisely at 8:20AM for the 35+ Cat 4 race at the Wente Crit. I had one teammate in the field along who rode for me. His intention was to “stir the shit” (his words) along with a couple of other guys, while I sat in for the inevitable sprit finish.

Turning onto Los Positas from Bennett

The race went in the typical Cat 4 fashion; bat-shit fast for the first few laps,  settling down to an easy tempo pace for the next half hour, with stupidity ensuing for the final lap. A few close calls on the corners as my competitors haven’t learned the hard lesson about dive-bombing a corner in a crit, but all of that sillyness pales in comparison to what happened in the last 1km. Five guys stringing it out in front of me when the racer immediately in front of me, decides to take a left turn, right into my teammate. I moved right to avoid the crash I knew was about to happen when I was amazed to see my teammate save it. Once that happened,  the whole field behind us bunched up and riders starting overtaking us, while we worked to get our speed back up. As my teammate got the punch of adrenalin, he sprinted ahead and took the wheel of three guys who seemingly immediately blew up in front of him and shot back through the middle of the pack causing people to duck and dodge them as they started to ramp up for the sprint. After a few brake checks (grumble, grumble), and a white knuckle corner, I entered the final stretch ~25th in line, nowhere near my leadout man. I knew I wasn’t going to win, so, trying to salvage some points, I ramped up a sprint on the inside and tried to pass as many riders as possible. For my efforts, I placed 13th. Ahh, crit racing.

Then I had to go give the people who just beat me some money. 😦

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