Tuesday, March 29, 2011

San Dimas

First stage race done. (photo Chris Wingfield- wingerstudios.com)
Stage race #1 of the 2011 season is finished, and I am pretty pleased with how it went. I ended up 39th GC, somewhere in the top 10 of true amateurs (sorry Chris Baldwin and Phil Zajicek if you are reading this, I don't really count you as amateurs). Chris Parrish had a great race and finished up 11th overall, the first amateur, and a good start to the season.

I already sort of talked about the TT, it was hard, I went as fast as I could, and for me, 63 guys could go faster. But here is a cool picture of the road the TT was on.
Glendora Mountain Road. Follow the pavement for 6.8k
The Road Race was around Frank Bonelli park and Puddingstone Reservoir.
RR finish. (photo Chris Wingfield- wingerstudios.com)
To save from reading boring race reports about how I got dropped but then I caught up but then dropped again in the road race, I will say that the road race was extremely mentally stressful. I did not go into it with a crit mentality, and it truly felt like an 84 mile crit. It took me almost 30 miles to move into the position that I needed to be, and that was with conscious effort. Also, doing races with road furniture is different. It took me several laps to figure out how to get through the road furniture smoothly. Learning.
Base of the KOM climb in the RR
Parrish and I just making the front split with 1 to go in the RR.
Crit team camp. (photo Chris Wingfield- wingerstudios.com)

The crit was a good introduction for me to professional level criterium racing. The moral of the story is that if you are not always fighting to move forward, you will lose 20 spots in an instant. I found out that the GC guys are great to follow in the first hour of the race, but in the finale they are not the ones to follow. There is obviously a lot of differences between a local crit and a big crit, but the similarities are there. The money is at the front, the starts are important, and the last lap is not the time to start moving up. I was a bit worried about getting a good starting spot, and fellow crit-shark Spencer Smitheman taught me all about lining up early. We were the first people staged, and when they called us to the line, were on the front row. After callups, we were second row, ready for booyah.
Second row start spot. Left side of the picture, just underneath the clock (podiuminsight.com)
Dan and I figuring out the buddy system (photo Chris Wingfield- wingerstudios.com)
Me. (photo Chris Wingfield- wingerstudios.com)

Post Crit. (photo Chris Wingfield- wingerstudios.com)
Recovery Sandwich. Hungry hungry hungry (photo Chris Wingfield- wingerstudios.com)

The Elite and JV guys, post San Dimas. (photo Chris Wingfield- wingerstudios.com)

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