Sunday, May 6, 2007

Windy Downtown Crit

First off, thanks to Tripower for putting on a great venue today. They had a tough task to get pedestrians wandering onto the course and keeping the tents from blowing away in the Elizabeth river.
The weather alerts starting coming in Saturday night with high wind adviseries. Winds from 25-40 were forecasted with gusts up to 55. At least they're calling for the rain to end overnight. During our CAT 5 race, the winds were consistently 20-25 and stronger on Main St right after the pave section. Lines were moved 2-3' feet sideways by the gusts that moved thru the section between the buildings.
On to the race itself, I managed the back of pack start but clipped in on the first try this time. The race started off fast and groups split immediately. Unfortunately I was in the wrong pack. I bridged up to next group that split off the lead group but that took about 3 laps riding solo and hurt. I grabbed the largest rider's wheel to protect me from the wind and sat in for a few laps. Thanks JB.
Our group was about 1/2 lap down from the lead group and not gaining. The group worked ok together with about 2-3 (out of 7) doing most of the work. With 4 laps left, our group was getting ready to cross the start/finish where the "referee" (yes, he had zebra stripes) motioned us to abandon. "What the ...?" The lead group was still 1/2 lap behind and were we in no danger to mess up the field sprint. Maybe the officials thought we were lapped riders based on the suffering look on our faces. Oh well, just as well - the winds were brutal and our group was out of contention of any points. It also gave me a chance to watch the field sprint taken by a Casey rider. Skinny Jimmy (unattached) took 3rd and missed 2nd by a 1/2 wheel. When will I remember to just stay on Jimmy's wheel.
That's it for racing for about a month. No way I'll get away with racing next week on Mom's day.
Time to get the time trial bikes out again and some of my teammates were thinking of getting on the mountain bikes rather than a Saturday morning hammerfest.