Mark and I decided to make a run up to Phillipsburg for a 45+ ,15 mile crit; figured it wouldn't hurt us too much for tomorrow's race. The course is your typical downtown crit in an old-time North Jersey city out by the Delaware river; nice area. The course itself is pretty cool, a long slightly down hill run past the start/finish, a quick left into a slight chicane that goes hard left into a very short ( 12 pedal strokes) hard rise and then another long flat stretch. Two more quick lefts and you're back on the finishing, down town straight. I've been having trouble with these short, fast "power" crits the past few weeks. I'm about due for a break, it's been a long season and I'm about half shot in the ass right now; and as for Mark, he spends his days jettin' back and forth to Phoenix to wrap up a mega-deal he's spear heading for his real daytime job. Let's just say neither of us got much left in the tank.
We had (48) starters and I was listening to the announcer introduce the three national champions that were in our race when I started to get that "we're f------ed" feeling I've come to know all too well . The race started, I clipped in and we were off. The Master's races are slightly more polite than some of the other races I do, the first lap was pretty mellow. Then the attacks started. Before long we were barreling down Main St at 30+ each lap and it was beginning to look like another rough day. I kinda surprised myself by having no trouble on the little "power hill" and was cornering reasonably well; but the pace on the front straight was killing me. About seven laps in I started getting gapped and was doing everything I could to stay on. By the tenth lap I was off the back and resigned myself to doing what I could to finish. At some point Mark came by me and we managed to finish with-out getting lapped; Mark at 23rd and I was 25th.
So we got our sorry asses popped, but at least we managed to finish ahead of half the field; 10 - 15 of those guys were off in the first coupla laps.
We hung around to watch the 35+ race, and the Peddler Shop guys looked very strong. John Nyman was doing his usual hard work at the front. With about six laps to go a break of about eight guys started to build a nice gap. Shawn Ricci (Peddlers) bridged across to cover and that looked like the winning move. Shawn Teski (also Peddlers) was back in the main field. With three to go the break came by and there was Teski sittin' on the back. I'll never know how he got across that 400m gap that fast; pretty amazing riding. In the final sprint, Shawn left early and managed to hold it to the line for the win. Shawn was wearing the orange points leader jersey and looks to have that competition locked up. That whole team looked scary strong today.
So that's it for today. I'm lookin' forward to tomorrow, I generally like the long, flat road races; we'll see how it goes. I'll see most of you in the morning.