Saturday's Crit was super fast, had a couple of technical turns, and a long back straight into a headwind. Photo courtesy of Craig Sparks
I'm in Lawrence, KS this July 4th weekend for the inaugural Tour of Lawrence. It started Friday night with 200m Street Sprints, then a downtown crit on Saturday, and a very hilly circuit race today on the picturesque KU campus. The weather has been so comfortable compared to Austin and it definitely made the racing pretty painless yesterday.
Basically, we were drag racing on bicycles. They took the top 8 times from the first qualifying round and placed them into a brackets based on category (Pro/Cat 1, Cat 2, Cat 3, and Cat 4/5). Then, the Pro/Cat 1 winner raced against the Cat 4/5 winner and the Cat 2 winner raced against the 4/5 winner. The winners of each of those rounds then raced each other to decide 1st and 2nd and the losers raced for 3rd and 4th.
I qualified, sharing the fastest time of the night with Nick Coil (Cat 1). My eighth-finals opponent was a no-show, so I got a bye-run, then my quarter, semi, and finals were pretty easy. Meanwhile, Josh Carter (Cat 1 winner) was battling the fastest guys over and over again before having to race against my semi-fresh legs. I tried stalling before staging to give him a little more time to recover, but he just rolled right up and staged. He got a really good jump on me at the start, but once we hit the halfway point, I dug as deep as I could and shifted into an extra gear hoping to get one more shot of acceleration before crossing the line. Somehow it worked and I walked away with a chunk of cash and bragging rights that I once beat renowned sprinter, Josh Carter.
This race was so darn fast, but somehow only let one break get away with only a few laps to go. Some of the larger teams didn't help keep the pace high enough in the last two laps, so Heath Blackgrove won with Stefan Rothe right on his tail. Then, about a second later, the field came through with a massive pack-sprint. Bryan Fawley got 8th and I picked up 7th.
There was definitely room for improvement in the last lap, but considering that we were in the middle of complete chaos, we're pretty happy with our results. Only one rider went down because he blew out his rear tire which is pretty amazing considering 75 of us were hitting all those turns with so much speed.
Photo courtesy of Craig Sparks
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