The new venue at Fontenelle Park outside of Benson turned out to be a real gem. I wasn't too impressed during pre-ride but at race pace it had really good balance and the corners flowed really well. It will be a worthy venue for the State Championship in November.
I always get nervous at these first few local races. Having not raced against Jeff yet, I didn't really know what to expect. He had some great results at Cross Vegas as well as in Iowa recently. His punchy style is the exact opposite of my steady state pedaling and I always struggle to sit on his wheel.
|Killer skies at the start|
Photo: Jeremy Cook
I had a couple of goals going in. The first, lap Rafal. His idea, not mine. We joke about the art of the perfectly timed finish, aka get lapped on the leaders last lap so the lapped rider doesn't have to do his final lap. I was a master of this for many years. The second, bury myself and go deep in preparation for Fort Collins. With no racing on Sunday I didn't need to leave anything in the tank.
At the whistle, Jay took the hole-shot followed by Jeff, Matt and myself. I'd planned to do the usual, sit back on lap one and see how things play out. Jeff and Jay swapped positions a couple times and I moved in front of Matt. Through the sand the first time, Jeff bobbled but I was able to stay on behind and navigate through just fine. Initially my biggest fear looked to be coming true, that this would be a dirt crit as a group of at least 10 of us finished up lap one.
As we made our way down the start straight I decided to put in an attack and see how everyone was feeling. I opened up a little gap as Jeff took chase and continued to drill it out of every corner. I ended up staying on it pretty hard through lap 2 and 3 taking my biggest time gains through the sand.
|Photo: Jeremy Cook|
|Goodbye, thanks for coming|
Photo: Jeremy Cook