The 2nd day of the Valley of Fire Stage Race brought on a fast and fun 0.9 mile crit course. The Men Cat 5 and Women Cat 4 raced for 30 minutes, the Masters 35+ and Men Cat 3/4 racing for 45 minutes, and the Men Pro 1,2,3 cat raced for one hour.
The SaltCycle-Intelitechs team put in some great efforts and snagged some solid results in every category, and most importantly everyone was able to finish safely.
Annette, Ashley, and Kate all had a great first experience with crit racing. Kate was able to hang on with the main group until the end, and it was a great learning experience and a new perspective of what to focus on in training.
In the Men Cat 5, Joergen snagged another 2nd place finish. He was just shy of winning on a solo breakaway, but wasn't quite able to stay away. With only a few seconds off of the leaders overall time, he sits in a great position to take the overall win with a successful road race tomorrow. We're just hoping he can upgrade quickly so he can race with the Cat 4s!
Dustin was faced with a very daunting task of hanging on with the Masters super combined 35+ 1,2,3,4 racers. He hung in there tough but suffered a flat tire, and couldn't quite recover enough to catch on to the blistering pace.
In the Cat 3/4s, Keaton and Paul finished with the main sprint group, with Keaton snagging a 7th place finish. A very respectable result for his first crit as a CAT 4. Keaton was a last minute addition to the team, and we're sure stoked to have him on board! Looking forward to seeing his continued success this season.
The Pro, 1,2,3 race was super fast with lots of daring breakaways that could never quite get away. They were in the mix the entire race, with Richard finishing 5th and Dan finishing 9th, respectively.
|Keaton and Paul sticking together through the first corner.|
|Yours truly in the first corner, hanging on for dear life.|
|Paul in the corner.|
|Me in the corner.|
Trevor's Race Report:
For me, this crit was seriously the most insane bike racing I've ever experienced. From the start, it was guns out, blazing fast. 10 minutes in I was seriously doubting my ability to hold the pace, and sitting at the back wasn't helping either with the extreme accordion effect after every corner. There was one corner where I went from as slow as 19mph to as fast as 32 mph, and I knew I had to move up or I would be toast.
Luckily I still had the energy to move up a dozen places or so, and shortly after avoided 3 crashes in one lap. Alex and Anson weren't so lucky, and were caught behind these crashes which essentially ended their race.
When you're going that fast, everything really becomes a blur with all focus on maintaining position, speed and avoiding crashes.
The main highlight of the race for me came with 6 laps to go. With a slowed pace for a moment, I saw an opportunity to move up from about 40th position to the front. It actually didn't take much effort to get all the way into 6th position heading into the last corner, and after a smooth transition to the final straightaway, I was feeling strong enough to launch an attack.
It was a suicidal attack and I knew it, but the opportunity to jump out in front and show off the new team kit was just too good.
Though my 1/2 lap of fame was short and ended after popping in the headwind, it was a super good time and an awesome experience in such a fast crit and large field.
This would prove to be the end of the race for me, as after such a hard effort I was only able to hang on for dear life for the final 4 laps. I did finish with the main group, but at the very very far back in 44th position.
Overall, I was satisfied with the effort. A lot of progress has been made from last season to this one, and with more experience I hope to be able to put myself in better position to do well in these high speed crit races.
|Strava profile of the last few laps of the Crit. The last lap was really fast with a 28.5 average. While on the 5th Lap I was able to get my average heart rate to 192 bmp!! That was due to a 1/2 lap solo breakaway and the ensuing explosion.|