Monday, June 22, 2009

Tour of America's Dairyland- Manitowoc Crit

Last nights crit was another 90 minute race on a four corner circuit. It was pretty wide open through the corners so the speeds were pretty high and it was tough to get much of a gap. After our poor showing in Grafton, we decide to get to the front and ride like we actually belonged in the race. The team was able to get someone in every move that went off the front, even though they we're all pretty short lived, we just wanted to play it safe and be represented anyway. We mixed it up in a few of the prime sprint and took home a little extra cash that way.

The crit was going along in pretty standard fashion, without much of a lull in the racing. Greg flatted and was coming back into the field after getting a neutral wheel when he got about 3 pedal strokes into his attempt to get back up to speed and he literally ripped his handlebar in half at the stem. the whole left side of his ALUMINUM bar came off in his hand and he went over the bars and his bike came flying into the field. Luckily everyone dodged it successfully and Greg was ok. After that he got a complete neutral bike and was back in the game a lap later.

The team did a much better job of communicating in the closing laps of this race than we did the night before. we helped take each other to the front and made sure that we weren't moving around in the pack without the purpose of helping one of us get to a good spot for the sprint. When we got the sign for 7 laps to go, the field collectively flared their elbows and starting duking it out in the battle for optimum position. With wide open straights, it was hard for any one person or team to keep the pace high enough to prevent swarming at the front. I ended up on Tilly's wheel with 2 corners to go and was pretty pleased with my spot. I got bumped off when I had to hit the breaks to avoid swinging into the curb coming out of the 2nd to last corner. It wasn't terrible, but at that stage in the race it hurt my chances to really get up there. I ended up coming across the line in 8th and Derek was 9th. Tilford took 3rd, but he's always been a pretty slippery wheel to follow in the closing laps of a bike race. All and all it was a much better day for the team, but we're gonna keep at it with hopes a getting a stage win. Tomorrow's Road Race is a pretty good chance given the two oxen we have in Greg and Dan.

Today was a pretty successful rest day, with maybe not as much rest as we should of had, but pretty fun none the less. If you're ever in Milwaukee, I highly recommend a tour of the Lakefront Brewery. For $6 you get 4 glasses of beer and a nice pint glass along with the tour of the micro-brewery.

Alright, enough for tonight. Hopefully I'll have some good news to report from tomorrow.

1 comment:

AH said...

Yeah, Tilly's good at that. He smoked me into the barriers at 38mph coming out of the final turn at Quad Cities a few years ago, just as I was coming around him to take 3rd place.

You guys need to make a list of all the bike parts Greg breaks in a season. Make him a product tester for Shimano and/or Ritchey.