Tuesday, March 19, 2013

RMR Criterium Series

Saturday gave us some absolutely beautiful conditions for riding. Aaron and I both raced - 30 minutes doing loops with 30 other guys around Rocky Mountain Raceway out in West SLC. Neither of us have done this race before, so we weren't sure what to expect. Turned out to be loads of fun. There was a decent headwind on the front stretch that really caused the pace to drop every time we came around that part of the loop...no one was willing to push hard into the wind. I kind of laughed when another quasi-pro got irritated and tried to wave Aaron forward to pull the group into the wind. I didn't catch the whole exchange but it looked like he was taking things a little too seriously. This was a weekly training race after all..not the world championships. Aaron led for a few laps, and I tried to stay no more than one or two bike lengths behind him most of the race. Anyway, the pace would go up a bit on the back stretch, then a fun chicane before a tight hairpin turn into the home straightaway again (a quarter mile drag race strip). It was this hairpin that caused a few gaps every now and then, but due to the headwind and easy pace on the front stretch, everyone came back together except on the last loop, where the field started to split about 3/4 of the way down the back stretch. Aaron was in the front group that made the break, but I didn't have the legs (or perhaps I was behind the wrong wheel, or I didn't dig deep enough, not sure which...) to make that last break and got stuck in a middle pack that came in about 300 meters after the leaders. Aaron did great - coming in 6th for the day.

Going into the first crit of the year, my objective was pretty clear: don't crash and don't fall off the back. I think I accomplished both. To be honest I think Aaron should "upgrade" to the next category level next time we do this series...he's pretty strong & thought people weren't pushing hard enough at times. Speak for yourself Aaron, hahaha! I'll probably need to race once or twice more in the same flite before upgrading myself...

Lessons learned:

-Get right on the gas mid way through the hairpin turn going into the headwind, or get gapped!

-Mid pack is not the place to be.

-Dig Deeper!

-Watch the Cat1/2 pros and which lines they take through the turns...need to be smarter about taking the right line.

-This is FUN!


Eric said...

Great blog guys! Where are you guys from exactly? Which one of you was the one who attacked on the last lap of the D flight yesterday? I think that guy won or got a close second.


Wayne Butler said...

Hi Eric - thanks for checking in! That was Aaron Branham. He was wearing last years light blue Zanconato kit. Aaron pulled hard and the guy who eventually won was on his wheel, but nipped him at the line. I raced as well, but came in with the pack.

Eric said...

Cool- I got third on that one. Nice to meet you Wayne. You guys are from kaysville? I was wearing a House of Commons LV kit and riding a Cervelo. I really liked the look/color of that light blue kit Aaron was wearing.

Wayne Butler said...

Nicely done Eric! See you at the races!
-I'm from Syracuse, Aaron and Mark are from Kaysville, Dave is from SLC, and there are 5 others who live out East doing races out there.