Des Moines Weekend take 3- water works circuit race and breeder's hill criterium
Starting with some photos- those are of Sunday's Breeder's Hill Criterium.
Tuesday night after Opus Fred Mills and I were talking about the races this weekend. Mom was at Opus that night watching and she gave me the permission to go race over mother's day without her.
Saturday's race was to be a dead flat 1.5 mile circuit race and Sunday's was a short crit course with virtually nothing but climb/coast down. There was no 3/4 race Saturday so I would do the 123 race and just sort of do my best then Sunday I would target the 3/4 race but try to hang on in the 123s (this was my plan anyways).
The Saturday course was exactly as described- totally flat, totally smooth pavement, basically all lefts in a big loop. The pace was high but I was able to hang in there for a couple laps and then try this really ill-advised break...
Ok, it didn't seem quite so ill-advised at the time and it wasn't always that close to being caught...
Anyways, we made lap after lap with little real excitement. Then they held up a bucket o' money and rang the bell... I didnt' figure I had the sprint to take the bucket, but I figured that this was a great time to get a sense for how the race would play out later and gain some experience (after all this was my 5th actual criterium race) Fred went to the front and drilled it for Brandon and I was able to sit in about 12 position around the back of the lap. On the final corner a few of the guys in front of me went wide and I cut the corner to the inside and pushed hard. Found myself in 3rd wheel and losing less ground to the bucket winner, Brandon, than I had expected. Switched back to regular laps and told myself that the 'real' finish would certainly be tougher and more widely contested, still couldn't help but feel better about my chances than I would have thought previous to the race.
A couple guys took a flier with a few laps to go and got far enough ahead that they were a threat to stay away. No major reactions for a long time! Finally, at the beginning of the last lap Fred went back to the front for "team" (I say "team" because it was just the two of them really) Revolution and absolutely buried it! As he pulled the break in I found my way into about 8th. This time as the race strung out there was definitely much more fighting for position! I think I made the final turn between 8th-10th wheel then got into more of a long acceleration really than a sprint. I was more or less topped out speed wise riding in my saddle and never felt the need to stand and really spin it out. At one point I had to get on the brakes hard and move right but then I found myself passing people.
Here are the first page of results-
I was very happy! Congrats to Brandon for another win and Fred had to feel good about helping make that happen. Including Woell who rode down with Brandon we, MN, had taken 3 of top 5.
After all that race organization Fred and I had to balance the world back out somehow... I bet we drove 45 miles wandering Des Moines, almost accidentally heading to Nebraska once, etc. etc. in order to find dinner, some coffee, wildly scramble to find internet in order to pre-register for sunday, and finally a hotel. At that point we got our bearings and were able to find our way all the way downtown and back to check out a couple of pubs without getting lost again.
Sunday was to be a totally new day. Beautiful 70-80 degrees and sunny once again. Did not get lost or even confused on the way to the venue. Course looked as-described...
3/4 race started ok, but the pace felt high. William Rekemeyer got away and I knew all I should do was sit on in the chase group. A few laps of that- long climb, coast down the hill, sharp sharp corner at bottom, pedal hard up the small hill, coast/revoer, repeat... and then there was a lap where I didn't get on the brakes early enough on the long down hill and slipped in the turn and lost the group. Things turned into solo riding. Was still riding "in the money" but now the race had gotten very tough! I started counting down laps and hoping to catch more and more people. Then with exactly one lap to go I stood up to power over the last bit of the climb and broke my chain. This was the chain that I had purchased on the way down to Des Moines (Colfax) for that last Iowa Spring Classic race... it is a wipperman and shows no signs of wear or stretching. I will switch back to the 7900 I've been running on most of my bikes recently. Rekemeyer did finish the race off for a strong win! (he would also do pretty well in the 123 race later in the day).
1/2/3 race was a disaster from the start. I had completely hit the wall and/or the group was too strong on that hill and too smooth through the tight corner at the bottom. I was shocked when Fred joined me on the side of the road not too long thereafter and finally when Brandon also was unable to hold the pace with the lead and DNF'd. Sucks to double DNF in one day, but I'd had an ok ride going in the race I'd really targeted (although not relative to how Saturday had gone down) prior to the chain breaking and it is definitely time for me to get some rest! I don't plan on doing much other than racing the Royal this week and then recovering the next.