Race Report: Cal Aggie Criterium (P1/2)Posted on January 29th, 2013 1 comment
Words: Lee Peters
The Cal Aggie Crit; a nice mellow intro to the 2013 racing season, akin to dipping ones toe into a chilly pool…you know, just a quick taste before you jump in. That was my thought when I lined up with Sean Smith this past Saturday to compete in my first crit of the season as a new member of SquadraSF.
Except this particular pool happened to contain a large sampling of the who’s who in Nor Cal cycling; Mooney, Loader, Bassetti, Hutch, Riggs, and Jenkins to drop a couple names. It was going to be a cold jump…
“Gentlemen, you’re racing for 60 minutes 3…2…1…go”
Yeah, they probably won’t start that fast…oh wait, someone told Chuck this is a race? Yup, time to go fast.
3 laps in I found my way to the front and the subsequently off the front with a member of Strava trying to make an early go of it through the chicane and into the headwind on the finishing stretch.
But the pack was hungry for early season blood and wasn’t about to let us go that easily. The first half of the race saw relentless attacks from various combinations of the aforementioned characters and even a field split which was promptly shut down over the course of 2 laps by Phil Mooney who is clearly entering the season in excellent form.
I spent much of the race in moves which should’ve had the legs to get away, but were ultimately shut down by a very attentive peloton. The real action for me came with about 9 laps to: 30 seconds up on the field with Mooney and Chuck.
Oh yes, this definitely a good move
Somewhere on the back stretch before the chicane when we were going somewhere between a million and two million miles per hour, the pack is bearing down and Chuck attacks.
For those of you who’ve been fortunate enough to ride the wheel of a Chuck Hutchinson on the warpath, feel free to skip ahead 1 paragraph.
For those who have not –
See – Motor-paced racing and motor-paced cycling refer to cycling behind a pacer in a car or more usually on a motorcycle.
From there see- Motorcycle (also called a motorbike, bike, moto or cycle) is a two or three wheeled motor vehicle.
Mmmmmm….no….never mind…..not quite….
See The General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force (USAF). Designed as an air superiority day fighter.
Ok there we go, seems about right.
So there I was. Going mach 4 at 200bpm in the final laps of what was supposed to be a nice ride among gentlemen on the wheel of a guy who I would be happy to beat in an arm wrestling match or checkers, let alone a bike race.*
But I was pumped up, feeling great, and perfectly content to ride this train to the line.
Despite the horsepower and despite the efforts of Sean to shut down subsequent moves, we were no match for the calculated ruthlessness of the Mikes Bikes/Cal Giant chase machine. After the catch, Cal Giant launched a guy who put about a minute on everyone like nothing, I figured that was it. Time to recover in the pack and get situated for the field sprint, maybe get a few of the remaining money spots.
But the pack still wasn’t content to let a solo move take the win. We made the catch with half a lap to go before the chicane as I was set up perfectly around 4th wheel directly in back of Sam Bassetti.
Not a bad place to be…. and man…it would be kinda cool to, oh I don’t know….WIN…but something’s missing here….a usual element present in the last 400 meters of most Nor Cal crits…
And there it was, the Blue and Gold train of MB with James Laberge in tow coming up my right side fast – entered the chicane with them but was put into the gutter going around the last left hand. Managed to squeak out a 10th (give or take, results aren’t up yet).
No podium spot for me this go around, but it was an awesome day.
*Revised season goal – beat Chuck Hutchinson in arm wrestling*
Sub James LaBerge in for Loader (I’m apparently still learning who exactly these dudes are)