by Buzz Wright
My legs weren't feeling great for these crits but I was excited to be racing with so many friends. It was awesome to see so many guys and gals showing up and a handful of them were from our Wednesday night Crit Training Series, which was fantastic. I stayed up near the front for most of the race and could feel residual fatigue in my legs on the slight climb every lap. A little over halfway through the race the group bunched up a bit before heading into the "dumpster corner" and I saw a guy two wheels in front of me looking pretty nervous. Just as I was thinking about it sure enough, there was a bit of contact and he ended up going down. Unfortunately I was not able to get away from him and ended up going down too. I hopped up, checked the bike (it was fine), and went back to the start/finish to get my free lap.
After re-joining the group I was able to stay near the front again. I marked Kyle and Erik and noticed that Ryan was working to get on Erik's wheel. I figured that Kyle would be leading Erik out and Ryan would probably release them on the final lap. Turned out to be a good guess and even though I knew what was happening I just didn't have the legs to get on Erik's wheel once they went for it. It was a great move but unfortunately they took the dumpster corner a little too fast and both ended up in the hay bails. I was so bummed for them I sat up a bit and finished somewhere in the top 10 I think.
The Robold brothers: Evan, Ryan, and Buzz (adopted)
My legs were pretty sore and the slight climb on every lap was definitely hurting me. With some 3's in the field I expected the race to be hard and it was. I again stayed near the front and did my best to hold wheels and conserve energy. Kyle went off the front and had a decent gap and I mentioned it to Evan saying, "Kyle's up the road a bit." A moment later I decided to try to bridge up to him so I jumped on the climb section and pushed hard to reach him. I was able to get on his wheel but was pretty gassed. A third rider also bridged up to us and he was super strong. He and Kyle continued but I looked back a the group and decided that I needed to recover and re-integrate. Just not enough strength to make that work yet. I think I stayed away for two laps.
Buzz bridging up to Kyle
Near the end of the race a couple guys went down on the dumpster corner. Luckily I was able to stay up but had to scrub so much speed to avoid the crash that I lost contact with the lead group. I didn't have the legs to work hard enough to get back up there but I had Evan with me so I was happy. We worked together along with two other guys but then Evan fell off after taking a big pull. When I saw him dropping off I let the other two riders go and waited for him. Once he was back on my wheel I put in a decent pull to get us back up to the other two riders. That worked but then on the next lap I cramped up really, really good -- both calves and both hamstrings just locked up. It was excruciatingly fun! Evan looked back and saw that I was dropped back and so he sat up. I yelled at him to "get up there and sprint it out" but he wasn't listening. We sat up and rode the last lap together and the cramps faded. On the final climb there was one rider coming up on us so for funzies I did a half-hearted sprint to the line. Not sure what I placed but I didn't care -- it was a really fun day of racing!
Evan and Buzz chatting on the last lap