What a day, so I might as well jump into the race since its fairly late already.
Basically this was going to be my first Pro/1/2 race that I will have done as a cat two in USAC not UCI. So from before the start I was pretty excited, which was weird because usually I get nervous before I start but I just decided today I would have fun with it.
As I lined up I noticed that we had a somewhat large field for a local crit which was exciting! 39 guys for the Pro/1/ 2/ 3 and I couldn’t wait to start.
Right before the whistle was blown I kinda thought to myself that this might be a cakewalk compared to Abitibi since the field wasn’t so large compared to the 200 riders I had been jammed into a peloton with for the last week so I kind of felt like I wouldn’t have any trouble navigating the peloton today.
Right as the whistle was blown I jumped into the race even though it took me a second to get clipped in because I missed the pedal, I hate that, but I didn’t panic and felt somewhat relaxed.
Next thing I know I am sitting third and right behind my teammate Brandon’s wheel just about five back. As I looked back for a brief moment I noticed that we had kinda a gap nothing big maybe like a second or two due to someone letting a gap go.
Then I noticed that we were starting to slow down. So I thought to myself yeah we’re on lap one but lets put in an attack just to make things interesting, nothing too hard but just something to test the waters.
So I jump out of the saddle and put in a bit of a sprint to see what kind of gap I could get. When I looked back I was shocked to see that I had gained about a fifteen second gap on the field in no time and so I just decided to roll with it and see if someone would bridge to it.
I knew Brad Huff was in the field and heard about how he like to hang back and wait for a break to get like twenty seconds and then bridge to it.
So I thought to myself that if I could get in a break with Brad Huff that would be awesome, so I just road a good tempo that I was comfortable with. Unfortunately I have no idea what kind of speed I was doing because my speedometer crapped out on me so I was left to just feel what I was doing.
So a lap or two goes by and my gap increases a another 5 seconds and I felt great holding the tempo I was doing and thought to myself this would be really stupid if I just sit out here all day and right as I thought that I heard a $100 dollar cash prime get called out and I looked back and saw my gap was still pretty manageable and so I decided to hit the gas since I knew I could get the prime at that point.
Sure enough by the first two turns I looked back and noticed that they had given up the chase on me and let me increase my gap and take the prime. I was so happy and just having so much fun that I came through the start finish and gave them a thumbs up totally cracking up since I knew I just stole the best prime of the day and apparently the crowd thought it was awesome.
The announcers later told me that they clocked my prime lap at an average of thirty miles an hour! That was crazy cool and I didn’t even have a speedometer.
After the prime I noticed that a group of three other guys were trying to bridge up to me and so I held tempo and waited for them to make the bridge.
Once they caught me we quickly fell into order, taking good strong pulls from what I felt and started holding off the pack.
A lap after they caught me another prime was called and when we hit the start finish drag strip I noticed that no one was going for it, so I decided I would sprint for it and no one challenged me so I won a $200 dollar Yamaha bluetooth speaker.
After this with about six laps passed we held are gap at 20 seconds and finally on the seventh lap we started taking time on the chasing pack.
Ten laps later we would find ourselves chasing the back of the peloton and with another lap we would catch them.
It was strange because I would periodically look at the other guys in the break and they would be huffing and puffing and I felt awesome. I guess it was one of the days for me that everything was working perfectly for me.
After we got into the pack it didn’t take us long before we were back at the front trying to bridge up to Brad Huff who was trying to dump the pack. Once we caught him we went back and forth with the attacks and counters and it was real fun until about 21 laps left I started to feel my subway sandwich start to come back up my stomach so I decided that I would take a moment to let my digestion settle down, unfortunately a couple of the guys in my brake and Brad got off the front and got another good gap that would grow to thirty seconds at about six laps to go.
So I didn’t want them to come around and lap us so I got to the front and tried to keep the pace high and thank goodness I got a little help with the Mercy lead out crew taking over with 3 to go and with one lap to go we brought the gap down to about 8 seconds.
Brad won the field sprint of course and the guy who won the race just came in behind him with the guy that got second right behind him.
As for me, I just got to chill and stay out of the messy sprint and roll in for my third place.
It was an awesome day, Brandon and I got $100 bucks each after we split everything and I got a nice new speaker that I’m that Im chillin out to as I write this blog; pretty cool.
It was just so much fun racing with Brandon, can’t wait to do it again.
And lets not forget that I got to race with “The Infamous Brad Huff!”
He is just a totally awesome guy. He went from getting fifth in the USA Pro Nationals Crit yesterday and took a flight in (probably got like a couple hours of sleep) and then strolled in just so he could race his home town crit.
What an awesome guy and Im super stoked to have been able to of meet him and race him.
All in all what a great way to start my cat 2 racing off!