Monday, August 31, 2009

Check Mated in Sedalia

Night time criteriums are usually not my cup of tea. I don't really see that well at night. Some say it's my old age, I think it's my astigmatism. Either way, I don't really like night time races.

However, there is a race in Gateway Cup that is 100% at night so I think it's important to do a smaller race at night so I'll remember how the shadows work and all that. So I jump in the car with John Giles and Jason Knight. Next stop, Sedalia, MissourA!

We got there about 1/2 way through the Cat 3 race and I guess they thought it was a Demolition Derby . I think I counted 7 crashes and it seemed that nearly everyone hit the pavement. Bad for the riders, but the kids absolutely LOVED IT!!

By the time we started, I managed to get in enough preview laps to memorize where all the dangers on the course were. Which was good because the official said this as were all lined up.

"There are a number of hazards on the course to be aware of. We have marked these very well, except that now it's dark and you can't see the markings." Beautiful. Ready GO!

Instantly the attacks start flying. Tradewind Energy/ Trek Stores was firing on all cylinders with their 3 riders: Brian, Bill, and Nick were dictating the race as everyone else was chasing. On the L shaped course, it was only a matter of time....

I could never figure out how to be on the offensive side of the 8 ball. I needed to be rested and at the front of the field as the move got brought back in order to be on the counter attack. However the nature of the course would only allow for single of double file which means I could be rested or in the front but not both. Tradewind did a fantastic job of keeping the entire field in check and a good deal of energy was spent just trying to bring the race back to "even" only to be put in check again.

At about the 40 minute mark, everyone was stressed, getting tired and Brian jumps as Bill comes back. I looked to Nick and said, "that would be checkmate." Two gone, never to be seen again. Then it got interesting....

In one lap at the 45minute mark, there were 3 "incidents" that resulted in the P,1,2 race doing a poor imitation of the Cat 3 race. I guess that's when people started getting tired.

In the end I was on the tail end of the lead out for the field sprint and finished 8th. I'll take it as I didn't burn too many matches and was never really stressed. Next stop, the final TNW KC then off to the Gateway Cup!