The Apple Pie Criterium marked the first race of the year for me. The course holds a special place in my memories as I used to live about a mile away from the corporate center where the race takes place in Santa Rosa. I had one goal for this event; finish. It usually takes a few days of racing to get my legs up to “race speed.” The high speed and non-stop surging of a criterium just can’t be replicated in Truckee, on my trainer, in the garage, while watching the snow pile up past the windows.
Cat 2 (45 MINUTES)
The Cat 2 race served as a great warm up for the day. I sat in the pack and didn’t stick myself out in the wind a single time. With one lap to go, I surged up to 5th position. Going around the last corner to the finish line, I clipped a pedal. My rear wheel jumped about 3 feet into the air, but I somehow managed to stick the landing. Everyone cheered at the corner at my dynamic riding, but I had lost all momentum and wasn’t able to sprint. The guy directly in front of my won, while everyone trapped behind my acrobatics was pissed.
PRO 1/2/3 (90 MINUTES)
My legs were tired enough from the first race of the day to prevent me from actually making any moves. Fortunately, teammate Nate Freed was there with fresh legs to proudly fly the Marc Pro – Strava flag. I sat in the pack, helpless, while watching Nate attempt to forge a breakaway for the first half of the race. About 50 minutes in, “the right move” finally broke free. All of the teams were represented, so this looked the move to go with. I made my only effort of the race to bridge up, but my legs gave-out halfway to the break and I whimpered back to the field. Meanwhile Nate missed the move due to a flat tire. The 20-man break was caught with one lap to go, and the race ended in a bunch sprint. Nate, 18th. Nick, somewhere between 18th and 100th.