Monday, July 7, 2008

Davis July 4th Criterium

There were many turns on the course and the Elite 4 group managed to escape without any injuries or major crashes. Before the race I rode through the surrounding neighborhood with Willem and Lloyd to get the blood flowing in the legs and could tell it was going to be a great venue. Later, we met up with Matthew at the hay bails in the first corner and pre-rode the course together before lining up. During our warm up I scanned the road surface and memorized the surface blemishes and even got to hit a few turns with speed to find the lines. We lined up and the race took off with Third Pillar and Berkeley Cycling Club doing their best to get up front. The usual suspects were there and everyone handle the corners well for such a large group. Willem, Lloyd and Matthew rode aggressively at the front of the main group - we controlled several laps and made a strong showing during the entire race. At one point I bumped shoulders with a Berkeley Cycling Club rider who seemed a bit sketch. During the middle of the race Lloyd went to the front of the main group and put some pressure on the pack. Willem and Matthew looked very strong during the race with many appearances at the front of the group. With 4 laps to go I heard a preem and noticed two riders who managed to hold the group off the previous lap. Both were on the podium at the Burlingame Criterium, so I made the decision to close the gap. With three laps to go I sprinted for the preem with the other two riders. I got the preem and decided it was time to make a move on the main group. Once ahead of the two riders, I focused on hitting the corners with more speed and taking smoother lines. Eventually, I pulled away from the group and kept thinking about a time trial and putting as much force on the pedals as possible. Luckily, my legs responded each time and I was able to build a solid lead each lap. Willem made a great move in the main group and controlled the pace once I was gone - an excellent tactic. Overall, we rode a great race and I managed to pick-up a preem, the most aggressive rider award and the win. The Elite 4 team made an excellent showing and I was so proud to see everyone riding so well.

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