Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Time to race!

The Oak Ridge Velo omnium is this weekend, and it seems like I'll once again be taking part in most, if not all of the available races. I'm still on the fence about the criterium (I really don't like the course, but I end up doing it usually anyways) and it'll likely depend on my Omnium points at the end of Saturday as to whether I do it or not.

Being a Cat4 this year will change things, not only will the road race be longer, but the competition will be stronger and likely smarter. Honestly, I'm expecting to do nothing more exciting than sit in and try my best to hold on during the attacks. I haven't been doing much climbing, and I weigh more than I historically have, so I expect that will be tough, but we'll see. Familiarity with the course is likely my only advantage. In the time trial... I'll do what I can. I haven't been on my TT bike since the State Championship, so I expect it'll be pretty uncomfortable, but at only 8 miles it shouldn't be too bad.

Castelli Stealth top may be made for triathlon, but it's not a bad crit top either 
There is a lot of slick color coordination between kits and helmets going on here.

Last Wednesday I did our local practice crit, in the B group this time. The hard thing about the B's is that a lot of the A riders are in there "warming up" so IF you can hold the move from the A guys you get a huge advantage over the rest of the B's. I had the right people marked for the most part, but I sat in behind the wrong guy early in the race and when the strongmen made a big move, I was just a little too far back to make the jump. I tried to bridge, but starting a few bike lengths back against three very strong dudes pulling hard is not a recipe for success. I settled back in to the second group on the road (5 of us) but got only the barest amount of help. Only one other guy would do much work with me, with three wheelsuckers. Not my favorite way to race, especially when I had a little hope harbored that we might be able to bridge back to the front group with enough teamwork (we didn't, and got lapped!) but with only a little help it was not to be. I understand, most of these guys weren't interested in racing hard this time, saving up for the A race, but it's still slightly frustrating. Eventually I attack our group at 3 to go, but with fresh guys behind me it didn't work out. I ended up third of the Cat4 racers (One in the lead break and one in our group) which was good for what was basically a hard training day.

Channeling my inner Sagan hair
Might has well be time trialing with all the pulling I'm doing
I finished the wife's Raleigh finally. It was a bit of a headache, I couldn't get the shifting smooth and eventually, after a bit of elimination I had to bend the derailleur hanger back to straight.  I know, it's pretty common, but it still amazes me every time. Why not just send the hanger not attached? But I digress. All is good now, and she loves it, which is awesome!

Thanks for reading! I really appreciate it! Some stories from the race next time!

- Christopher Morelock

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