by Buzz Wright
I've been looking forward to this crit ever since I watched it from the sidelines last year healing from my injury. I wasn't too nervous about the rain and I thought that the race might be easier because of it. From the start though the pace was pretty intense. Unfortunately because of the slippery conditions the group would brake into each corner and then accelerate out of it. A guy went down on the second corner of the race and then about a lap later another rider went down a wheel or two ahead of me. Neither spill looked too serious. I hung on and did my best to stay near the front of the group. A couple times some gaps opened up on me out of turn 4 which had a nice big puddle at the apex. I was able to grab 4th place during the sprint and was pretty stoked about that. Turns out I actually had the top spot for the omnium after day one.
Buzz hanging on in the crit
I didn't sleep well and was pretty tired driving up to Oracle for the road race. My job for this race was to do whatever I could to help Michael place well in it. The race started with a fast descent that was pretty cool because of the fog. Once the climbing started the stronger riders really pushed the pace. I stayed up near the front with Michael and did my best to hold on. Near the end of the climb I checked with Michael to see how he was doing. He was fine, not even breathing hard and asked how I was doing. I was dying. I decided to drop back a bit in the group to try to recover a little and realized that the group had been blow apart on that first climb. I had no room to drop back. Ugh. A surge happened and I had to let the group go, knowing that Michael would be fine on his own. I joined up with Evan and a couple other guys and we worked together until hitting the climb again. Evan dropped back a bit but then later caught me with Ryan and some more guys. Ryan put in a monster pull and really put the hurt on everyone, but then dropped off. Evan and the other guys dropped me and I climbed solo until about 2 miles from the finish when I could see one rider from Evan's group who had been dropped. I decided to try to catch him and pass him at the finish and was able to do so, grabbing 12th place. I ended the omnium with 90 points, which put me at 7th place overall, right below Michael who got 6th place. Not bad and plenty of room to improve.