Saturday, August 21, 2004

Broadmark Circuit Race #3

Today was the third installment of the Broadmark Circuit Race Series. I missed the first one because of guests and the second one was cancelled and became the subject of a different post. So this means it was my first (and last) race of the series.

The location was in the area of Carnation, WA. The route wound through beautiful (and flat!) farm country nestled in the Snoqualmie Valley. I often do training rides on these same roads, so it was very cool to race on them. I'm not sure how long each lap was, but my warmup lap took about 12 minutes. The cat 4/5 race was scheduled to go for 7 laps and got going under cloudy skies and a cool 70ish degrees.

Since this is the end of my first season I like to look at a race in terms of the progress I've made. At the Thursday night criteriums I can now hold my own and could probably go for a top finish if my tactics were a bit better. I was a bit nervous about this event since the weekend races tend to draw a more skilled crowd. I decided that finishing with the main pack was a good goal.

The first few laps had a quick pace, but I wasn't struggling to keep with the field. There weren't any big events to speak of, so I'll fast forward to the last lap. At this point I was still with the main group and was trying to maintain/improve my position for the final sprint. About 1/3 of the way into the lap I was toward the back of the peloton and trying to work my way up. At the half way point of the lap, tragedy struck. Someone a few riders up from me crashed. I didn't see what happened, but I did see his body fly into an irrigation ditch and to everyone's surprise his front tire bouncing through the peloton! It looked more like a car race as everyone tried to dodge the bouncing tire. I managed to avoid it, but the slow down pulled me off the back of the peloton and there was no getting back. Since it was the second half of the last lap, the pack was already steaming along at quite a pace.

Overall I am happy with my performance. Crashes will happen and its just a matter of time before one effects you. I suppose being further up in the pack might have helped, but you never know.


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