Teammates: Nathan Codding, Brian Ort
I was really nervous about this race. I have had a big fat circle around it on my calendar all spring. When the day finally arrived I was stressed about living up to the expectations I set for myself. It turned out awesome.
The main feature of the race is a very steep 1-block stretch of road, followed by a long fast descent back to the finish line. Our group did 15 laps. Every time up the hill I practiced spinning up the first 3/4, then accelerating over the top. I sprinted for 2 primes just to test the sprint and see how fast I could take the final corner, and otherwise stayed near the front but out of the wind all race.
On the last lap we hit the hill. I punched it over the top and got a big gap. I wasn’t expecting that, but stayed on the gas all the way down the descent. I came around the last corner 100m or so ahead of the field, with enough of a gap that I could sit up and coast across the line with my arms in the air.
I don’t win many races so the win yesterday felt really great. On top of that, this year feels like a bit of redemption for me. I have been riding bikes since 1988 and I have literally had 1 good year on the bike every 5 until now. I joined TRM in 2008; 2009 was a good year for me, but 2010-11-12 were very hard at work and I didn’t ride or race much. Last year was much better and this year has been a big step up from that. It is very gratifying.
I have enough top 10 finishes to upgrade and I am pretty close on points, I know that once I do I won’t see the front end of many races for a long time so I really wanted to win a crit first. I pulled it off; now it’s time to go get shelled by Larry Nolan and Chris Phipps in 1-2-3 races.