Sunday, March 29, 2009

Criterium de Bethel race report

Well it's been a while...I've been really busy with life and riding. So that means less time Blogging unfortunately. Big thumbs up to guys that write 5 or more days a week!

So long story short. 2 weeks ago I thought I would go down and try out a crit to see what it was all about. The result was week. Well I have an excuse list a Jethro tule long but I will skip all of that and get to the good stuff.

On my hour trip down to Bethel it was only sprinkling so I was happy about that, but then right before I got out of the car to warm up it started to rain steady. A couple laps around and it was time to line up. I was really nervous because of my results last time but I kept it real.

The whistle blew and we were off. I was out in front where I would spend most of the race. Scott Feltmate was there and a fellow Bethel dude was working together so I thought I would see how this would work out. I know how strong Scott is so it gave me a good sense of how hard I should be pushing. The three or four of us kept switching it up for pulls. It's funny what you see and think when you are behind other guys. This one guy had a super skinny waist with super huge legs. At one point me and Legs got the jump on the others and another guy thought we could make an attack. But it didn't last long and the rest of the pack came up to us. I think I launched 5 or 6 attacks throughout the race. Half way and Scott and teammate dropped back. I didn't see him for the rest of the race. I felt like it was just me or one other guy at the front. I would pull way out and everyone would just keep riding me. As soon as I would get behind someone to rest a bit it was hard not to get a mouthful of spray so I was glad to be out of that most of the race.

So here comes the last lap and I'm way out front up the hill and step on it. Basically trying the same move that the guy used to win my first crit. I look back and I have a decent gap. I step on it and I'm in the drops going about 80% because it's a long way to the end. Towards the last corner I look back. Not a good move. As soon as I saw that the pack was catching up to me I shut down to 60 or 70% thinking I could catch a wheel. It was too late. 6 guys that didn't pull once came charging past and I punched it to catch the last wheel. Up the hill I was giving it my all and the legs were strong but pushing past my limits they felt like wood. Almost to the top I'm going for the inside corner for the straightest line and there's a guy that almost crashed into me. So that sent me back a second or two. Pushing and yelling at my legs to move I crossed the line in 8th.

Well today's results didn't win me gold or bronze. What do people who get 8th place get for a prize. Or I should ask what do people get for pulling forever and then leading the last lap? But then get smoked at the end by some guys that I never saw the entire race. I think if you are going to win you might as well have some dignity. Scott came in second to last exactly like my first race. I know he will be stomping everyone next time.

Trying to qualify to upgrade to cat 4 is a lot harder then I thought. Should I also stoop to their level and "hide" in the pack? I just couldn't do it. I hope I can get my upgrade despite my results so I can race in the 30+ 1234 at Battenkill. I might need to get everyone to write a little note telling Diane Fortini that I can be a cat 4.

Everything is coming together for the new ride. Sean from Bethel is working out the spoke length for the Arches and I'm pulling out all but $7 from my bike fund today! Thank you Josh, Charlie, and Sean for making this all come together. I don't know what I would do with out your help.


  1. Yes, hide in the wheels until the last lap, let someone else do the work.
    Who can conserve their energy and race "smartest" is as important if not more than who's the strongest.
    I expect in race 3 you will be on the podium.

  2. CB2 hit it on the head. Crits are yet another instance where brains trumps brawn. Suck off them the entire race and bury them on the hill.