Hyde Park Blast 2011

After proving yesterday that I was able to finish a crit, I wanted to try to do better today.  The weather was perfect and I was hoping that would work for me.  When I got going I was still a little stiff from yesterday so I wanted to make sure to get in a good long warm up to loosen up.  It was on “home turf” so it was a comfortable area for me so I was able to maintain a nice easy pace to get limber.

The field was much larger than yesterday.  Madeira had less than 20 riders, Hyde Park had reached the maximum of 50 riders.  In the staging area the 7 Hills crew assembed: Darryn, Kevin, Brian, Chris and myself.  We were feeling pretty good about things.  We got to chat with one guy with a really nice Pinnarello who’s primary statement was, “I’ve never ridden in a crit, and am used to riding by myself, how does this work?”  When I am explaining the rules and finer points of racing a crit to someone, you know there is going to be trouble. 😉

Lucky for us, they were doing call ups. As we were the first team signed up (thank you Susan) we were at the front of the pack.  From the advise I’ve gotten from various people and what I’ve read, the primary thing in one of the technical courses is to stay near the front to avoid the slinky effect. I took this advise to heart when the whistle blew.  A bunch of guys were slow clipping in and I took off.  From the get go I was out in front to hit the 180 at the end of the square first; this seemed to be key to position.  Coming out of the turn I was still in front.  So, I’m thinking to myself, “this is new, hang on and someone is going to pass you”.

I then came face to face with my old nemesis, the hill.  It was short and not steep, but that’s never stopped me from falling back in the pack.  I hit the top and I’m still out in front.  Thinking to myself “how that f*ck did that happen… okay, stick with it”.  Down Monteith, I took the left hand side of the road and cut the corner.   It was going pretty fast and shot down Erie for the line.  Passing the 7 Hills group and my family I heard the loudest group cheering out there; kind of awesome.  Then I’m hearing the announcer call out that I’m the guy in front. Awesome.

At this point, I’m recognizing that I can’t keep up this pace, but I need someone to pass.  Careful what you wish for.  I took the 180 towards the outside. This seemed to be the safest line. Remember that guy that I was explaining how a crit works? He decides to pass. I’m thinking, “okay, at least I can grab a wheel….” Yeah, that was too much to hope for.  As he’s cutting around he’s accellerating and then lost traction.  Next thing I know his bike is sliding across the pavement and directly into my line.  I slow down and dodge around it and him.  Everyone else goes to the inside and takes off.  I’ve lost most of my momentum and need to catch back up.

From there, it was the standard “Dave fell off the back and worked to catch up game”. Thanks to GT for yelling out status on what was going on each time I passed.  It helped gauge how hard to hit the hill.  I did manage to pass a couple of guys that also dropped off the back.  Unfortunately, I knew when Ron was riding up behind me on his motorcycle that it couldn’t be good.  About half way through the race I got pulled because the peloton was catching up.  I was cooked anyway.

It was nice to see Chris and Darryn in the lead group for most of the rest of the race.  I’m not sure where they ended up.

Aside from the Cat 5 race.  I missed most of the cat 4s while I was getting into a more comfortable outfit.  The Cat 3s was awesome.  And the Pro race was exciting from the start.  I cannot believe that the lead group actually lapped the field… it was pretty cool to watch.

It was a ton of fun and it was really hard.  I learned a couple of things, and that’s the important thing.  This was race #14 in 17 weeks for me and I’ve learned an immense amount.  All I have left for 2011 on my calendar is the Milford Crit in September.  I think I’m going to start working on the 2012 training plan… I have a few things I want to change with how I trained for this year.

2 thoughts on “Hyde Park Blast 2011”

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