Monday, July 16, 2012

Race Report: Indy Crit

It's been a while since I road tripped for a race, so I was looking forward to getting out of town and racing against an unknown field.  We got into Indy late Friday night because of several delays with leaving and my lovely ever needing oil car.  We had a great late supper at Bru before heading home for the very short night.

I went to the course early on Saturday morning to watch the Cat 5 men and Cat 4 women.  I was able to walk the course and get a quick preview of what I would be seeing in the afternoon.  It was a figure eight and very flat, one little rise on the back side, nine turns in all.  There was a headwind section after turn three and five.  We had cobbles and a slight uphill after turn six and the finishing straight was less than 100m.  The men's and women's race I watched were both very sketchy.  A did a nice job in his largest field so far and managed to stay clear of the at least three crashes and near fist fight that occurred.  Kelly and Tracie were strong in the women's field as well, both finishing top 10.

I went back down to the course about an hour before my race.  It was sunny, hot, and humid by that time.  I rode over to IU and buzzed around campus for my warm up.  I met up with this girl, Sarah (, who told me about a few of the local racers as we spun around together.  I found out that I've actually raced against her before in cx--she did the Cincy3 races last November.

I headed down to the start/finish about 10 minutes before our scheduled time.  I finally found Cat and we chatted for a few minutes. While were were standing there I also saw Emilie and Trish--it was nice to have a few familiar faces.  We had 22 ladies in our race.  We got instructions and a whistle and were off.  The first attack came right after turn one.  There were three or four Riley girls in the pack and they were strong and raced well as a team.  They took turns trying to get off the front.  Our first prime came within five minutes.  I kept watching Emilie to see if she would go for it, but she never moved up beyond mid pack.  I chased down three or four attacks in the first 15 minutes and thought my chest was on fire.  About 17 minutes in, I decided to sit in for a bit.  I moved mid pack and let some other girls do some work.  It seemed like we slowed for a lap or two before the relentless attacks started again.  The farthest anyone would get was about 20m off the front and then they'd be brought back.  I have to say this race had the most bumping and rubbing of any I've been in.  I actually got slapped in the thigh by a girl at some point.  I saw her to do it several other ladies as well.  Our second prime was around 32 minutes in.  This time I actually toyed with going for it.  I moved up and was sitting about fifth wheel when we came off the cobbles, but didn't jump quickly enough.  Emilie took that one without a question.  Our next lap we got the five to go card.  At this point, I was finally having fun and feeling good physically.  I sat in and watched what was unfolding and who the players would be in the final few laps.  It would definitely be Emilie and the Riley girls.  I decided those were the wheels to follow.  Actually Emilie specifically because I couldn't tell any of the Riley girls apart.  With two to go, I stuck on Emilie like glue.  She was up front, but didn't respond to the couple of attacks, she let other bring them back.  With one to go, she moved to the outside and up to third wheel.  We turned onto the cobbles and she was up front.  I was right behind her.  We went around the traffic circle and back onto the pavement. I think I was sitting third at that point.  I was antsy, knowing the sprint was coming.  The pace picked up right before turn nine and the pack swarmed the front.  We turned and the short sprint was on.  I didn't have my finest sprinting moment and ended 9th on the day--it was high enough to manage a payout that covered the cost of the race.  All in all a lot of fun.  Very glad I went.

See all the Riley girls in blue!  The girl two back from me smacked my butt!

Staying close to the front.  
The rest of the weekend was great as well.  Saturday evening wrapped up with a great dinner and a movie.  Sunday morning I had a sticky, humid run into downtown Indy before having brunch and heading home.