Saturday, June 13, 2009
2009 NUTMEG Pro Criterium Photo Finish and Results
The first crit in New Britain usually blows for me- I always do better in the July edition- this year will not be an exception. I did so much screwing around before the start of the 35+ that I got no warmup and rode straight from the car to the line. That sucked. Not a good race for me- I felt like I had a flat the whole time. When it came time to sprint, I was lethargic and fatigued (forgot to down my Red Bull before the start, too) and with no room to go anywhere, I practically coasted to a finish in the mid-20s.. The 30+ race which followed was no better. In fact, after three laps I took myself right out of it. Head was not on straight- my son Reis was throwing a tantrum when I went to refill bottles and change numbers- and it became un-fun to the point of wanting to stop and lie down. I forgive myself now, but at the time a sickening sense of self hate came over me for being such a pussy. This forfeiture meant that I had nearly 2 hours to kill before the Pro race. I can write thousands of words about the dozen or so times that wheels touched and squealed, handfuls of brakes were grabbed, and bikes swerved in anticipation of horrible crashes. This was probably the most dangerous crit I have ever raced. 125 guys do not fit too well on this venue, where in three places, the course narrows and funnels everyone into eachother. With 3 laps to go Ka-BOOM! huge crash takes out 6-7 guys. Two laps to go, another crash crackles like lightning and takes aout another 3-4.. One lap to go- going into the final uphill chicane- Ker-POW! 4-5 bodies go flying and push me into the curb at eye popping speed. I stay upright, but the lead 25 guys are pulling away from the huge gap. I sprint to get back on but by this time the front of the field is single file and leading into the final corner. I catch up and dive-bomb into the corner when SPLAT!- three more guys take eachother out while cornering at MACH 3. I get inside of the carnage and uncork the fumes left in my tank. The results were posted and right where I expected to see my name is an "X". So naturally I go to the camera tent and advise them that "I'm the guy who is your 26th place, Bib No 1". Done.
The last three laps were a lottery. You were either lucky or unlucky. Don't anyone give me any crap about there not being any luck in bike racing. I did not survive all the close calls and the crashes by being an awesome bike racer. The Red Bull sharpened my senses and that helped a lot- I felt totally wired- but I had luck on my side today. 125 or so starters and 80 finishers.. 80 lucky finishers..
Gotta hand it to CCB! They lined up their team at the front for three laps, fighting like mad to reel in the two guys who were up the road. Not only did they succeed- without any help from any other team- they also launched Colin J to victory with an armchair leadout. I salute their excellence today. Tomorrow I expect to feel a little more opened up than I did today. Breathing was short for some reason, maybe having ridden only once at Ninigret all week, a definite loss of form was detected today. It's no surprise, really.. I will sharpen up with some proper volume in the next two weeks. Thanks for reading. Whaling City Cyclone tomorrow! No rain!