Wednesday, April 22, 2009

2009 Eagle Point Crit

For my first race of the year I traveled over to the East Coast of Iowa to race in the Eagle Point Crit hosted by Chain Reaction Cycling. Todd Juhlin joined me but was a bit leery about driving 2.5 hours to race in a Crit that was just 16 laps on a 1 mile course. I'll just say it now - Todd was glad he made the trip!

The setting could not be more stunning with the Crit taking place in eagle Point Park which sits high on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi. Having grown up just down the river from Dubuque, I felt very much at home with the Muddy Miss in sight.

We were very grateful that the rain held off and the temp's stayed pretty cool with a lot of tree cover to protect us from the wind. The course was an oval with the start/finish line on the down ward slope, the bottom of the course featured a hair pin turn that if you were top 3 or 4 first into the turn you could hold your speed of nearly 30-35 mph and the backside of the course was a meandering road with several upward pitches. Overall a very fun and fast course.

At the start, as in most crits, it got off to a pretty fast start with Mike Johnson from Bike Tech in Cedar Falls providing most of the towing services and on the 3rd laps I kicked the pace up mostly in an attempt to get warm and I regretfully shed my arm warmers and knee warmers before the start. For most of the race either Todd or I would take a flyer off the front along with a couple of others trying their luck only to be brought back by a diligent group that really just wanted a bunch sprint on the down hill finish. Todd and I both knew if it came to that we would end up as just pack fill.

With three laps to go, I sprinted off the front to be the first into the hair pin turn, knowing I want the guys at the back to feel as much pain as possible and I just kept the pace as high as I could till Steve Reynolds from All9Yards pulled through. I was able to grab his wheel for the next lap and with everyone in tow I sat in to set up my stratgey for the final lap. Todd and I were toward the front on the last lap with myself being 2nd wheel and Todd being about 3rd/4th wheel. I was just getting ready to sprint off the front when I saw Todd jump first and I knew this was a wining move- well timed!!!. I waited a a few seconds and then I jumped off the front too. With Todd's strong TT power I knew he had it won and I just tried to put into practice those four long winter months of spinning techniques I had learned (Sorry no isolated legs on this one) and I barley held on to second place.

Todd had a perfectly timed move on the back side of the course and received a well earned 1st place!

Moral of the Story: 1) You've got to get to the races in order to have a chance at winning. 2) You don't win a race (or come in second for that matter) with out a lot pain being involved. 3) Just make sure you don't let the 14 year old in the race beat you (what a good racer!)

My Sigma Computer Stats had us averaging 23 mph and my top speed was 37 mph.

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