Sunday, February 21, 2010

Getting the feet wet...

The Cherry Pie Criterium marked the intro to the race season for a handful of Whole Athlete juniors. Here's Tony Smith's perspective on the race:

1) Cherry Pie Criterium, Napa
2) Date: 2/7/10
3) Category raced: Junior 17/18
4) Placing: 7th

Teammates: Zach, Bobby, Nick, Joe, Roman, Carl

The week before this race wasn't a good one. I was really sick and was only able to get out on my bike once with Bobby and Joe, having to turn around half way up big rock ridge due to my sickness. Nevertheless, I had heard great things about Cherry Pie and I didn't want to miss it, so I decided to go.

This race had the biggest junior turnout that I had ever seen. Over 60 juniors lined up at the start, and I was really excited to get going. Because I was one of the last kids to get my gearing checked, I had to start at the very back of the pack.

The race started out pretty fast, with kids attacking left and right. I just sat in around the top 15 and made sure not to do any pulling and stay safe. Two Team Specialized kids made a break about half way through the race, but I didn't go with them, thinking that the pack would pull them back just like the other failed break attempts. Well, this break just kept getting farther away and nobody could pull them back. I wanted to be able to break away from the group and catch the riders up front, but I knew that I wasn't strong enough to bridge the gap. I should have just broke away with them initially.

So, with those 2 specialized riders going for 1st and 2nd, the main group was racing for 3rd. On the last lap I tried to move myself up into the top 5, but I was only able to get within the top 10. With about 50 yards to the finish we started sprinting, and I somehow managed to get 7th, just missing 6th by half of a wheel length.

I'm pretty happy with this result, seeing as I was really sick the week before and not feeling on top of my game. Also, I got 4 points for coming 7th, so I'm 1/4 way through to becoming a cat 3.

I also raced the Cat 4 race, but it was very uneventfull besides a really brutal crash. Some guy got boxed out and front flipped over a curb and into a tree. Ouch!! I gave the junior race everything I had, so I didn't have much left for the Cat 4's. No breaks got away, and when the sprint came I got around 30th, having to slam on my brakes before the finish because some guys in front of me almost went down.

All in all it was a really good weekend of racing and I had a lot of fun. Good job to Joe, Roman, Bobby, Zach, Nick and Carl!!


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