The morning started pretty early for this local race. Since my team and the shop were putting this race on I had double duty in racing and helping work the race. We started setting up around 6:30 am and the time flew by quickly as we were putting up tents laying cones and everything else that goes into hosting a race. Moving and lifting a bunch of things around for 2 hours before racing is not exactly the best.
As I was warming up for the race I wasn't sure how I was going to feel. I could tell I was tired not only from setting up but from not sleeping well last night. I'm not sure what that is all about but I just couldn't sleep and I think I only got about 4 hours total. That was fine back in the day but not now and especially not before a race.
When the gun went off I shot to the front and took off to lead the group off. I was pretty shocked by this (wish I could start like that in my mtb races) but took off and lead out the first 2 laps like I did in the last crit. On the 3rd lap I moved back a couple of spots to let my teammate and a couple of other people take pulls and then on the 4th lap they rang for a prime and the field broke apart and at the time I just wasn't ready and didn't have it in me to keep with them. That was about when I started to yo-yo with and would spend most of the rest of the race catching up to the leaders and then falling apart and then doing it all over again.
Towards the end of the race I wanted to catch the group in front of me and I thought that I was sitting in about 8th place with the group in front of me being 4 riders strong. I had a couple of guys with me and we decided to work together to try to catch them. I took the first pull and when I looked back they were way behind and I was on my own to try to catch the group. I kept trying to push to bridge the gap but they were working well together and I was having a rough time trying to get back . When they called 4 laps left I was getting pretty worn down and decided to pull the plug and cruise through the rest of the race and try to save myself a bit for tomorrows mtb race. It's a little more of a priority race for me than this one.
What I found out when I finished the race though was that the group in front of me was the riders that were in 3rd through 6th place. Knowing that I really wished now that I had kept pushing to try to make a run for the podium. I beat myself up about it all afternoon. All I can say is that it is another lesson learned. All in all it was a good race and some nice training. I remeber though how I do love crit racing and the thought of these becoming a bit more of a priority is becoming a bit more appealing.
I would like to thank everyone who helped put on the race, all of the volunteers and all of the people from the city that helped get the course ready and cleaned. We had lots of great feedback from everyone and this was a good thing for both our race team and the shop.
Here's a short video from the race when I'm in a rough spot at the back of the group trying to get myself back together on my teammates wheel.