Missouri State Criterium Championship Wrap Up

Today finally arrived, it was time for Missouri State Crit Championship and boy was I looking forward to this all week.

After I had packed the car and we had driven a little over two hours we arrived at the state capitol. We had gotten there a couple of hours early so we could hangout for a bit and watch my teammate race the Cat 3 race.

While I was chilling out I caught word that there was a sinkhole of some sorts on the course. So me being me, I wanted to check it out a couple of times to make sure I knew where it was on the course. After that I went back to the car so I could dress up and start my warm up.

Me & Brian Dziewa after the race

Me & Brian Dziewa after the race

While I was spinning the legs I got to watch my teammate Brandon kick some butt in the cat threes. He finished up the day with a solid seventh place; positive racing will always do you better in the long run then negative and I enjoy watching my teammates not being wheel suckers.

After Brandon finished up it was time for the Pro/1/2, and being anxious and wanting to race I lined up immediately at the start line, for which I then was yelled at to take a lap, so I had to wait for them to say we could come up to the start and I jumped right up to the front.

Once the official ran through some quick announcements, she began the countdown.

Right when I heared; “get set” I started rolling but she had paused for a little too long so I hit the breaks and trackstanded for a quick moment before she said; “go”.

When I did this Steve Tilford shouted at me; “cheater…, Connor cheated!”

It sounded like he was messing with me but I have no idea if he was being serious or not hopefully not, haha.

The moment we started I quickly fell in line into second and third position, surrounding me were two Gateway Harley guys and we started to follow anything that moved it was really fun.

Connor Brown at the MO State Crit

After I had worked my way into a bunch of little moves I started to notice that it was getting faster and faster on the downhill. Which usually I don’t have a problem with but today I decided that I would run my lightest pair of Williams wheels and on that wheels the cassette I have is a 15 instead of a 14, which means that I am without another gear to go faster/harder.

[This was a slight blunder only made worse because as a “Junior” I’m already at a disadvantage gear wise.]

This totally sucked because I was spinning my heart out and sitting right behind guys and they would just begin to roll away from me, and this would happen over and over again, each time I would fight to take my position back on the hill that was on the back of the course.

The problem with this was that everyone else would recover on the downhill section of the course were as I would have to try and recover on the top of the hill before the downhill began.

So a few more laps go by and I see ten to go, we were flying apparently doing like close to minute laps or something ridiculous like that but I’m still pretty sceptical of it.

At the ten to go mark I notice that I am just not getting the most out of my equipment on this course and I really regret not picking my wheels that had the fourteen on it.

The funny thing was all day leading up to it I was trying to decided if I wanted the heavier Williams or the Lighter ones and at the last second I went with the lighter, shallower carbon rims.

One other cool thing was I got to race my first race with a friend of mine who raced professionally with Jelly Belly and who is a former MO State Criterium Champion…I’m talking about Brian Dziewa. So that was a cool surprise for me. Brian is a studying to be a lawyer and is one of the top in his class. So basically, Brian has it going on!

So to wrap this up I finished with the pack. Could I have done better if I would’ve had a fourteen? I think so, but did I learn a lesson? yup, and next time I will definitely be bringing my fourteen out to play. I did have a ton of fun racing the Pro/1/2 though for the first half of the race I was very active, I think next time I will be a bit more patient and wait to hit them when it really counts.

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