Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gateway Cup: Day 2

Day two, the St. Louis Hills Crit. Today's course is a wide open 4 corner crit, wide open as in about 6 lanes wide all the way around. It's one of those courses that you really don't need to use your brakes at all. Once again the weather was beautiful, it actually felt cool at times.

I started the day out doing the Masters race. 70 or so riders with a fair number of pretty fast guys. With the course being so wide open breaks usually don't go away but you need to pay attention, it happened last night. I was a little nervous as the race started as I crashed pretty hard here last year and it ended up taking me off the bike for a month. Like last night the race was either blazing fast or crawling along but overall it was pretty fast. I had pretty good position going into the last lap but the field slowed and bunched up going with 2 turn to go causing a huge crash. Luckily I was just ahead of the crash and still in good position. Going into the last turn I was sitting about 5th when we again slowed and I hesitated when I should of attacked. That moment of hesitation moved me back to about 15th place going into the sprint where I ended up 11th. Kind of a bummer, felt pretty good but blew the finish.

Looking at the course in the morning I decided it would be a good time to double up and do the Pro 1-2 race. I went and signed up and got number 140, the field limit is 150. The race itself is long, 75 minutes, but with that many guys the draft is going to be pretty strong. Doubling up is tough in itself but I felt pretty confident that I could handle it. The joy of racing a Pro 1-2 race is that it's smooth and fast, not the constant accelerations out of every turn that you get in the masters races. Going in I was a little nervous but I soon found that I could move around in the pack pretty easy. A few time I was able to grab a wheel and roll off the front in a small group. The race itself was defined by a breakaway that got away early and stayed away. In the end I was still feeling pretty good and thought about getting a good finish. With 2 laps to go I was behind Tilford and Stolte from the Tradewind Energy/ Trek stores team and in pretty good position. Things went from good to bad when Stolte got blocked and Steve disappeared. Oh well, came in with the field. Overall it was good speed work that should pay off later in the cross season. Tilford has a good write up from the race on his blog.

Jay from the TREK Stores riding at the front of the Pro 1-2 race.

Today is race at the Hill, an old Italian neighborhood that has been hosting this race for the last 25 years. I'm going to double up again but this course is a bit more selective so it's going to be a bit harder . Time for some chow.

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