2012 Wente Crit

Posted: May 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

The 2012 Wente Crit was the first time that I got to witness the VSRT train in full effect. There were 7 of us lined up for the race and the goal was to protect me for the finish. Most of the race was spent hanging out near the back and trying to stay out of trouble while sitting on the wheel of one of my teammates. Let me just tell you how relaxing it can become in the middle of the storm that is known a Masters Criterium Racing when you have teammates that you absolutely trust and know that they will put you in the right position throughout the race.


Normally I spend my time in a crit trying to identify who the strong riders are, who’s wheel can be trusted, and who I should use to lead me out. When you have teammates to protect you, you don’t have to do any of that. All you have to do is not lose their wheel.  For most of the race three of us were camped out on the left side of the pack while the other four were free to go for primes or ride where they like. We were moving up with 3 laps to go when I was pinched off and lost my teammate’s wheel going into one of the corners. Within a second, I was 4-5 bike lengths back and boxed in. I maintained calm and waited until someone passed me so I could hitch a ride to the front to find them. It just so happened that the first person to pass me was another one of my teammates. I jumped onto his wheel and asked him to take me back to my leadout man. He dutifully moved me up through the pack until we reached the front, where our other teammates were nowhere to be found. Eventually with ~1.5 laps to go, I found my leadout train and we were in good position by the time we took the bell for the final lap. As is typical for this crit, and most others, all hell broke loose as everyone realized suddenly this was a bike race. We were moving up quite nicely and were in good position, though a little further back than I would have liked, when one of my teammates went down in a heap just to the front and to the right of us. As everyone tried to avoid the crash, we had to get on the brakes, destroying our momentum and letting the racers on the right side who were not inhibited by the crash gain position on us. Once around the final turn it was evident that there was nothing to sprint for, so I told my leadout man to pull the pin and I coasted home in 47th spot. I really can’t be more thankful to my teammates for keeping me clean throughout the race, responding when adversity struck, and for sacrificing their chances to help me to a good finish. Though I’m disappointed that we didn’t get the result we were looking for, that’s just racing and I couldn’t be happier with how well we worked together throughout the race. Finally, I hope our teammate that crashed heals up quick and is back racing soon.


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