Yeaaaahhh!!! Another State Criterium Title in the bag. I am stoked!
Here’s how it shook down. First, they shortened the race to 60 minutes (from 90) because I guess the venue was needed for something else, which made me sad. It was a semi-tight and windy course, so I figured moving up would be hard and I should just stay in the top 5-10 the whole time, which I pretty much did. About 15 minutes in, there was a big crash. I don’t know who all went down, but it was probably ~15 guys, including my teammates Ben D’Hulst and J-Rad Nelson. They neutralized the race, but it seemed like everyone was more or less okay (ie- not on the ground). J-Rad was pretty damaged and had to quit, which sucked because he drove all the way down from Bozoman, MT for less than 15 minutes of race time. However, he is not one for BLW (whining), so he was as pumped as anyone (except maybe me) after the deal went down.
A few attacks later, the break was formed with Ben and I (Park City Jeep-Goble Knee Clinic), Cameron Hoffman and Bryson Perry (American RADD Idol), Chris Pietrzak (Porcupine/Specialized), and the wildcard Darren Lill (BMC). I am calling him the wildcard because I pretty much race with all those other guys every week and know their strengths, but being a big time pro and new to the area, I didn’t know what to expect from him.
Anyway, typically when a break forms, you spend awhile just drilling it to get the gap out before you start attacking, but someone decided to skip that step. Everytime we started to settle into a rhythm “someone” would attack. I didn’t really get it, as the field was never more than 25 seconds behind us, but I guess I don’t have to get it.
I’d like to add in here that Ben impressed the hell out of me. He was literally dropped a couple times with these accelerations and would pull himself inside out to get back up to us, and then do whatever needed to be done. He closed a couple gaps for me that would have taken a lot out of my legs, and I straight up would not have won without him in the break. Oh yeah, and he did all that after crashing!
Anyway, coming up on a lap to go, I looked back and the field was right behind us, so I gave it a little gas just to try and keep the break’s momentum going. Someone gave me a gap going into the tailwind start/finish section, so I punched it and just gave it everything. Typically, I would wait for the sprint in this situation, but I ain’t gonna waste a gift either. A lap later, I looked back and saw I still had a few bike lengths and had time to sit up and enjoy it.
Dave from Cycling Utah said he had some pics of the finish, so I’ll post them if I get them.
Big thanks to all my Park City Jeep teammies (on the day- Ben, Sam, Kirk, Jared, and Nate).
Bigger thanks on this beautiful Mother’s Day to Kelly. You are the best thing that ever happened to me.