It's a week late, but here's a brief update from the second half of the Iowa weekend.
The Melon City crit is a mile circuit located Weed Park in the majestic Muscatine Iowa. There is a bit of a climb before the finish and obviously a descent on the back side of the course. Traditionally this is a tough finish to play because the back of the field has so much momentum at the base of the climb that the people from the back can almost coast around the people at the front who have just hit the hill.
Temps were in the 100 degree range, so I was employing the ice sock tactic like I used the day before. We were took our usual turns covering moves and rolling off the front. Soon enough we had Chris Uberti off the front in a nice group with all the necessary components and plenty of horse power. We were content to let it ride. While the rest of us were just hanging out in the field, I swore that I saw a guy in a Panther kit standing on the side as we passed through the start finish. Next time by I confirmed my fears, it was Chris. It turns out he had wrecked out of the break and with no free lap, we were up a creek.
Greg and I took some pulls to try to bring the gap down and Paul took off to try to get across. Nick "I'm gonna sit on and not work then sprint you like a bitch" Frey followed Paul. Paul got to within 5 seconds but couldn't close it. So he stayed away, between the break and the field, while "professional" Nick Frey sprinted him for 7th and Paul rolled in for 8th.
Us low-lifes back in the field were left sprinting for 9th. I managed to play my cards decently at the base of the climb and came into the final corner at the top of the hill in 3rd wheel behind Andy Crater and Steve Tilford. Crater crushed us all, but I was able to come around Tilly for 10th, one spot worse than I got there 2 years ago... I thought I was getting better, but I guess not.
I don't feel like writing another recap from Quad Cities, so you get the copy and paste from the Panther team site...
The Northern Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist contingent celebrated Memorial Day with a day of good, old fashioned crit racing. The eight corner, hour glass shaped course is a notoriously fast track where positioning is crucial. We lined up with 6 guys as well as had sponsor Andy Clark from Panther joining us, fresh off his win in the masters race earlier in the day.
Our goal was to be represented in any moves that rolled off the front early, as well as be prepared to get organized is the event of a field sprint. We did our jobs early and raced aggressively as did the other contending teams. The pace didn’t have too many lulls, and couple that with the hot spot sprints and crowd primes being thrown in, no groups got much more than a handful of seconds in front of the field. In the closing laps Greg and Paul were attacking and countering each other which resulted in Paul off the front with one other rider. It was looking good for Paul’s break to go to the line, but as the leadouts kicked in Paul’s group was swept up inside the last 2 laps. Chris and I were trying to take care of each other over the final few laps, but the chaotic nature of those laps found us both jumping to the Aerocat leadout with a half lap to go. The mad dash for the second to last corner ensued and Chris and I both made it through upright,(no small feat) but a shade too far back. The short stretch from the final corner to the finish wasn’t quite enough for us to make up the ground and Chris and I had to settle for 7th and 9th respectively. Despite Paul’s late lap efforts he was able to hang on at the front and sneak into the money in 23rd place.
Well, that wasn't all that brief.