Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Joey Hangs with the Elite 4s

Joey finished with the Cat 4 pack for the first time last Saturday, at the Coyote Creek Circuit Race, a 1.9-mile circuit with a 100-foot climb that the 4s circled 10 times in 45 minutes--you do the math. Here's his report:

We left in the morning preparing for a fun change from the usual juniors races. It was my first cat 4 road race and I was determined to stay with the pack for as long as I could, but being only a 2 mile circuit and having a fair-sized climb I wasn’t too worried. Starting at the front of the group off the line gave me a perfect position for the climb, which the group sped up the climb and started down the small descent. While turning onto the longer flat section of the couse, the man in front of me’s rear tire blew out and he slid out, but he managed not to fall and kept his balance. Not wanting to crash again, I decided to take it easy on the descent but not so easy that I would get dropped.

With 5 laps to go I was comfortably in the pack and feeling great, so great in fact I was beginning to wonder if I could hang on ‘til the finish!! With two laps to go I was sure I could do it and it even passed through my mind that it would be fun to try an attack up the climb, but I couldn’t get a good enough position. With one lap remaining, the pack started to really hammer and I had to fight to stay in position. When the group got to the last climb up to the finish line I had lost some ground but was still barely with the group. Once the sprint started, the field split and I was near the front of the second group only 15 meters behind the lead group!!

I was very proud of myself after the race. It was my first cat 4 race that I had finished with the pack and it encouraged me to do more 4s road races. The race also was great for my bike handling skills considering there were some very sketchy riders (including the rider who caused the crash at the Wente Crit that broke my collarbone) and corners.

Sadly I was the only Swiftie there but a few friendly Roaring Mouse riders we knew from rides were good company!!!!!
Joey Nygaard

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