Race Report :: July 2, 2002 :: Alameda Twilight Criterium Series
Date: July 2, 2002
Event: Alameda Twilight Criterium Series
Category: Senior 4/5
Time: 30 minutes
Place: 2nd! Second prime (actually both but…)
A nice surprise was my teammate Brett showing for the race. I haven’t had much of a chance to ride with teammates in the Twilight races. This made for a great opportunity to try out some team tactics.
We didn’t plan anything before the start. A few thoughts but nothing solid. After the race began, we both settled in and began spinning around the course. Before long a prime bell was rung and I quickly moved into position. The pace quickened and we flew around the course. I had a great spot and as we came around the last corner I punched out free and shot up the inside. One more prime for my pocket.
The pace didn’t slow after the prime lap. Several riders decided to keep up the momentum. I jumped back in, recovered from the sprint, and then worked back to a comfortable spot in the pack.
The pack surged and stalled, surged and stalled. People didn’t seem to mind chasing someone down but nobody really wanted to work to create a break. Soon enough though, the prime bell rung and that picked up the pace.
I was already in a good position so I didn’t have to work to the front. We flew around the back side and then towards the last corner. I got myself ready for the sprint, watching for others to jump, or for a chance to go myself. Then someone was off and I had to jump. It was going to be a drag race to the finish. I cranked up the RPMs and pulled past the other racer and took the prime.
Now it was time to settle in, recover, and wait for the finish. There were several more laps before the lap cards came out. Then it was 5 laps to go. The craziness of these laps soon began. Riders cutting corners, surging and slowing, jockeying around for position. I made sure to stay at the front to avoid this nonsense.
And then, on the last lap, there was Brett. I settled in behind him as we rode around to the back stretch. He wanted to pull and we were setup for perfect a 1-2 ride towards the last corner. As we sailed down the back stretch I could sense the pack getting ready to jump. Then on both sides I could see guys starting to make their moves.
I yelled at Brett to go! Go!! Go!!! He reacted, slowly at first but then he steamed up and he was motoring. Once he gets moving he’s a power house. And he was powering the lead out with me behind him.
Then I hear this terrible KA-CHING-CHING-CRUNCH-CRASH directly behind me. I don’t look back and I just hope it wasn’t bad. A pack sprinting can lead to some ugly crashes.
But we are safe and flying around the corner and heading for the last corner. The riders trying to attack on either side have fallen back. It’s now us 1-2 heading into the last corner. As we come around the corner I am up out of the saddle and sprinting to the inside, coming up and past Brett. He is hammering and I can see he isn’t fading. I pull forward some more, we are now riding side by side. I glance back and can see we have a gap on the field. There is no way they are going to touch us. I glance ahead and see the line coming up. I’m a half wheel ahead of Brett but don’t feel that I deserve to take it from him. So I let off and let him take the win.
He deserved it. For his awesome effort and awesome team work!
Side note: After the race, when I went to retrieve my primes, they said that I had only won one of the primes. I know for a fact, as do others there, that I cleanly won both. I just shrugged and said ok but I knew I had won both. Maybe it was a hint that they wanted me to upgrade :’)