Tuesday, April 14, 2009
This weekend was a back to back Criterium Fest.
On Saturday there was the Volunteer Park Crit, a scenic race swirling around the colossal brick observatory tower of Volunteer Park. This Criterium is known for its smooth and fast descent that directly links into a big chainring mashing ascent to the wide open finish line.
The next day, on Easter Sunday, there was the Brad Lewis Memorial Criterium, also known as the Boat Street Crit. Sharp off-camber turns amd numerous road obstacles distinguish this fast and relatively flat Crit. The short length and tricky corners always packs this race with excitement and mayhem.
Both days called for wet weather. Yet, the weather had other plans and decided to save all the miserable rain for Sunday. This meant Volunteer park was dry, sunny, though a little breezy, and had a good showing of cheering spectators--some spectators were even doing human pyramids and pulling all kinds of circus like tricks of balancing people on top of people.
The men's Pro 1/2 race started off quickly with a flurry of attacks from numerous teams. A small break-away of five riders established a respectable gap from the get-go, but the pack had no intention of letting them stay ahead. With about 40 minutes left the peleton finally pulled in the break-away, and, as soon as they were caught, CycleU Coach, Adrian, launched a monstor attack up the grueling uphill portion of the race course. The only other rider able to hang with such an effort was Jamie, riding for team Doppio Cycling presented by Gin-Optics.
Adrian and Jamie worked efficiently together and began increasing their time gap away from the field. Soon they were 30 seconds ahead of the pack. There were a few nervous moments when the pack pulled them back to 18 seconds, but, over-all Adrian and Jamie dominated the pervasive field and crossed the finish line with a 25 second lead.
On the last lap Jamie attacked Adrian on the finishing climb. Adrian managed to cover the attack and then countered the attack on the slight uphill straight-away leading into the finish line and held Jamie off by about ten bike length for the win. Go Adrian!!! Both Jamie and Adrian showed that hands down the are two of the strongest Northwest riders this season.
The following day the weather decided that all us bike racers had too much fun at Volunteer Park and accordingly thought it best to start raining all day with miserable amounts of wetness. I must say, the irony was laughable when the sun peaked out literally seconds after the end of the Men's pro 1/2 race.
Unfourntely the foul weather meant the crowds were sparse. Some of the only true bike warrior fans were friends, family, and supporters of Chad Nikolz and his Gin-Optics eye-wear company which boasted two tents, a barabecue, and a bumping sound-system playing fun and dancy tunes. All day the Doppio Cycling / Gin-Optics team was crowded with merry folk dancing and laughing and trying to stay positive and dry despite the cold temperatures.
The Men's Pro 1/2 race played out very similiarly to the previous day. From the gun there were many small break-away attempts that never stuck. Within minutes the orginal pack of 30 riders had slimmed down to 18 as riders concerned for their health pulled out of the race. The course when wet can be very tricky, dangerous, and a short-cut to getting a cold.
Adrian, pulling his signautre move of this season, attacked half-way through the race and immediately established a huge gap from the field. Soon his teammate, Sam Johnson, began to bridge the gap while bringing another rider from team Lenova along with him.
These three riders worked well together and eventually lapped the field with about 10 laps to go. The sprint was soon coming up and riders began forming lead-out-trains to set-up their sprinters for a harrowing finish.
With one lap to go Sam Johnson proved to have the most pop in his legs after 90 minutes of freezing racing. He took the win, directly ahead of Adrian, who claimed his respectable second place finish.
Coach Adrian is a fine example of the caliber of racers that CycleU has as coaches. Way to go Adrian-keep on givin' them hell!
Posted by harm at 10:22 AM