Monday, July 11, 2011

7th Race, 7th Place

Headed up to West Chester, PA over the weekend to do my first evening race at the 7th Annual Iron Hill Twilight Crit. It was a 6:45 p.m. start for this 4 corner, .8 mile rectangular course on the streets of downtown. Prime forecast and an atmosphere that was pretty happening thanks to lots of spectators and a brewery as the primary sponsor.

The start seemed standard with everyone trying to get a feel for whom to watch. Not surprisingly, Kacey Manderfield (Pure Energy) & Erica Allar (Ride Clean) were top on the list. To avoid any potential accidents or slow ups going into the third corner (the only slight downhill turn where speed and momentum would come into play), I worked to stay toward the front of the field.

Several nice primes helped to keep the pace up and eventually led to a break when Manderfield and Allar sprinted for one and got a gap. What was initially 12 seconds increased with each following lap as attempts were made to close it down but no one seemed committed to the effort, including myself. Once it was evident that we weren’t working as a group to make it happen, it then became a matter of holding position as the pace was pushed off and on with different riders launching off the field to try for a second split.

Going into the last lap the pace picked up and into that 3rd turn, the sprint was on. One racer crashed on the right side but was okay and no one else was involved from what I could see. My placement coming into the 4th corner turned out to be how I finished (5th in field, 7th overall). Another great learning experience.

(All photos courtesy of Todd Leister)

Very cool venue, very nice crowd, very tasty beer…this one will be on our team schedule next year fo sho! Thanks to the West Chester community for supporting such a successful and damn fun event! Highly recommend a visit to this area any time though with all that it has to offer: many miles of scenic, rural roads that have rolling climbs and descents through various townships and quality restaurants in the quaint downtown area to refuel at afterward.

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