Aug 05 2014

Beginning to Enjoy Crits! – Tom Jehlicka Memorial Crit

On this Saturday of the Civic Holiday weekend, it was turning out to be the warmest day of this summer yet.

I arrived early, almost an hour before the first race (I am in the second race), took my time to register and pin on race numbers. I tried to jump on the trainer for some warmup, but I could not last more than 5 minutes before overheating and soaking myself in sweat.

Fortunately, the schedule allowed for 10-15 minutes of buffer time between races, so I was happy to do a few laps of the race course before lining up at the start.

The main concern with this course is the fact that it is completely open with no protection against the wind. As everyone knows by now, I have a history of getting beaten up by the wind. As it turned out, there was very little that day, so it would not be a factor for any racer.

The pace was kept easy at the beginning, and everyone stayed together.

Soon after, there was a break with a few riders. They were not able to get any significant gap, and the peloton didn’t feel the need to chase them down right away. They were brought back after be allowed to dangle out front for a few laps.

There were a few other attempted attacks, but nothing stuck.

At 10 laps to go, there was a cash prime. I followed a rider to the front, and I was in 3rd coming into the finish line, but I forgot about the prime.
My teammate Dan didn’t! He had started his sprint but was cutoff. He continued his sprint anyway, and managed to get himself a sizeable gap on the field, while no one reacted at first.

I stayed at the front to do some blocking, but the peloton came around me soon after.
Then it was teammate Joe’s turn to do some blocking. The gap to Dan seemed to be holding at this point.

There was another prime with 5 laps to go, and at this point, there was also a small chase group that broke away from the peloton trying to catch Dan.

The gap to Dan appeared to be getting clawed back at this point. I thought he might get caught.
However the chase group lost steam, and was caught by the peloton. With only a few laps to go, no one wanted to do any work, so Dan actually starting to gain on us again!

A small crash at a corner at this point did more damage to the peloton, and it became clear that we would not catch the Danimal.

While he solo’d across the line, the bunch sprinted for 2nd and 3rd. I came in right after, maybe around 10th place.

This course in Cobourg is fantastic because you can see the entire race from any vantage point, useful for keeping track of breakways and chase groups. It is also a very safe and smooth surface loop. I highly recommend it to everyone! Wish there can be more done to promote this race.

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  1. Hot and Bothered – 2014 Tour de Terra Cotta » HenryLo.ca

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