Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Dirt on Cherry Pie (20060225)

Alright, so this wasn't the post I had hoped for.

I race the Cherry Pie crit on February 11, 2007, and even had family in

After bunches of early season training, and an early season campaign
that has so far seen me win a race, then crash out, then get 4th place,
I had really hoped I would do well at this race.

The pre-game plan was to bet that the race would end in a sprint, and
work with that. My teammates (thank you Jason James, Jesse Freese and
Michael Claudio, so much) would keep things together, I'd get a wheel up
to the last corner, go around it around 5th wheel, then they would go as
hard as they could on the final straight, where I would throw down with
about 150 meters to go.

Unfortunately, after the Martinez criterium, which was impossible to
move up in, the day before, I had a lot of confidence in my strength,
but not much confidence in pack mobility. So I spent a lot of time near
the front of the Cherry Pie which despite my strength this year did wear
me down a bit.

Consequently, when the time came to be in the right position at the end
of the race, it was a little harder than I thought, and I wasn't able to
jump on wheels as they went by, the way you have to if you're going to win.

Just for those reasons alone, I was not going to win this race.

Finally, to add insult to injury, a Squadra Ovest guy hit the deck just
in front of me in the sprint, sprawled out across the path I chose to
avoid him, we collided, my left leg clipped out, and I dove for the dirt
in full superman pose.

No damage to man or bike, but that sucks.

The funny part (to me) is that despite a crash, and me walking across
the finish line, I still got 34th out of 86 starters. So the race was
hard enough to tear the pack up quite a bit at least, and I didn't have
that problem.

One of my goals this year is to win a race, and Cherry Pie was the first
opportunity I really focused on. I guess I'll have to pick a new race
now, but in the meantime I am going to do some hilly road races to test
my climbing fitness versus the pack.

Here's the pic of the crash - see the black tights just behind the
fallen guy? That's me - not too many options to get by him.

* it was a training race, I know I know, but still, there were a
lot of people there and they were all motivated as well...

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