Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Morbihan Wrap Up and the Houston Crits

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. I've been pretty busy with school and haven't had that much free time. I'll start where I left off with the last two stages of Morbihan. The second stage was a TT where I ended up 21st out of the 150+ man field. I ended up being the second highest place 17 year old with the highest place 17 year old one place and one second ahead of me. The third stage didn't go so well for me. I was pretty active in the early parts of the race and paid the price for it going into the final circuits. On the first lap my legs gave away and I ended up pulling out early to help Gabriella feed the rest of the team. Gavin was our top finisher that day in 12th after fruitless attempts by the rest of the team to try and get away.

Crits in Houston
This past weekend marked the first time that I had raced in the US in about a month. The races planned for the weekend were the Houston Metro Crit put on by SWCC and the Houston Grand Crit in Downtown Houston put on by Bike Barn. Both races were awesome events that were held very professionaly. The Metro Crit was in a parking lot meaning that it would be extremely technical. At the very beginning of the race, one of Texas' top crit racers, Kevin Kremke (Bike Barn), took off. I immediately jumped on his wheel and the two of us got about a 15 second gap pretty quickly. Later on, Sol Frost (Austin Bikes) bridged up to us, but later that lap Kremke slid out on a turn with me on his wheel. I slammed on the breaks and T-boned right into him sending me flying over my handlebars and landed right on my knees and chest. It took a little while to shake it off, but I decided to get back into the race. The officials put me back into the group that Kremke was in which happened to be the lead group. It was an eight man group consisting of Kremke and Mitch Comrado (both Bike Barn) , Carlos Vargas (Team Hotel San Jose), Josh Carter (ABD Cycle Club), Tyler Stanfield, Hector Rangel, and Ricardo Tapear. Mitch rode away from everyone with about 30 minutes to go to take an easy win. Later on, Kremke, Rangel, and Stanfield broke away from the rest of us to finish in that order. With my "mad" sprinting skills I finished last out of my group to take 8th on the day. Sunday was the Houston Grand Crit. Being a much older race, a lot more people showed up to race. The course was fairly simple with only three turns in it. Early on in the race a break including recent winner of the Athens Twilight Criterium, Heath Blackgrove (Team Hotel San Jose), Kremke, Rangel, Frost, Thacker Reeves (Matrix RBM), Carter, Steven Wheeler, and Phil Wikoff (Super Squadra). Because of the extreme horsepower in the break and I think everyone was working pretty evenly the group got about a 15 second gap that would never be closed. Both Wikoff and Wheeler dropped out of the break and Travis Burandt (Team Hotel San Jose) bridged up to it. I tried a lot in the early parts of the race to try and bridge, but I couldn't make it all the way up. About 30-40 minutes in, I decided to go ahead and conserve my energy for the field sprint or maybe even a flyer on the last lap. With a little less then two laps to go there was a massive crash taking out about 3/4's of the field. Fortunately, I was pretty far up at the front and missed the crash by about 5 meters. This left about 20 or so riders left in the main field. A few more had bridged up by the finish to make the size of the field at about 30. Going into the last lap I found myself in good position on Texas Premier Cup Leader, Phil Wikoff. Knowing that he was an extremely successfully and powerful sprinter I decided to try and keep his wheel. With about 500 meters to go I was bumped off of his wheel and found myself on the outskirts of the pack. I found myself being sucked along the outside of the pack and with 200 meters to go the sprint started. I just put my head down and spun as fast as I could and miraculously took second in the field sprint for my second 8th finish of the weekend. This up and coming weekend I am planning on driving up to Dallas for the Gary Glickman Memorial Crit and the GS Tenzing Crit. Because I have the world championship qualifiers the next weekend in Tennessee I have decided to skip the Category Based State Championship Crit, so that I can rest up to be on peak form.


Mike Lalla said...

Dude when are you coming back to Belgium? I just got here that other day and first race this weekend.

Lawson C said...

Hey man, I'm not sure if I'm gonna be back in Belgium for a little while. I'm scheduled for a trip with the National Team next week but I'm going to be in Switzerland and Germany. When do leave Belgium? Anyways, good luck at your first race!

Mike Lalla said...

Thanks man, I leave Aug. 10th