Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Red Trolley Criterium wrap up

The crit race in San Diego which came a day after the cold and wet Boulevard Road Race was also expected to be quite wet, but luckily remained dry. Making for a fast and safe race (well as safe as any race can be). This crit boasted a power packed field. According to Rahsaan Bahati, Rock started four guys (including two US criterium champions)
Justin, Iggy, Danny and I started the 80min crit out numbered, out powered but not out smarted.

The field was composed of Jelly-Belly (10guys) Virgin Blue (10guys) Team Type One (10guys) and a bunch of trigger happy local guys putting the smack down.
Bahati gives a great first hand account of how he saw the race unfold during the last laps.
3 to go jelly belly is on the front setting up x-uspro crit champ Brad Huff and with Type 1 and V-blue around it was very important for us to set up right behind the first lead-out which we did and with 1 to go I hit hard with Justin on my wheel and passed the jelly belly guys going as hard as I could taking Justin into the last corner waaaaaaaaay to hot...that [put] him in 3rd position with about 150 to go. As I pulled off I watched Justin go from a all out sprint to sitting down (I got really nervous) but soon after he stood back up to sprint again. I later learned he had to sit down to switch to a bigger gear.

Justin passes Huff and Cantwell to takes win #2 of the year and I have to say he beat some fast guys.
Its interesting to note that he (the US Pro Criterium Champion) is working lead out for the Junior US Criterium Champion. These guys must be pretty close, which can't be good for other teams if they are both willing to race unselfishly.

The Swami's Developmental Elite team made a good showing of their first run as a team with the big boys by placing a rider in the top 20. The Swami's have a different perspective of how the race finished.
Alex and Daggs rode attentively in the closing laps staying near the front and actively covering each and every attack. A dangerous move with Brad Huff and Justin Williams as well as two Fly V Australia riders slipped off the front going into 3 to go, and the selection seemed to have been made. In a last ditch effort to keep Swami's in the race I bridged across bringing the field with me and keeping Alex and myself in the mix. I made a mistake as we started the bell lap, finding myself on the outside and getting swarmed up the inside. By the time I was able to slot back into the forward moving group Alex and I were twenty riders back and, at those speeds, were unable to move up anymore.
One thing I know from racing against guys in the lower ranks of this team, is that they know race tactics and use numbers to their advantage. I will be looking for this new elite amateur squad to steal some victories from the pros before the year is done. Be sure to click the links and read the full posts. Bahati has been nice enough to include a video of Justin crossing the finish line, which can be found here.

The final podium went as so:
1 Justin Williams Rock Racing
2 Brad Huff Jelly Belly Cycling Team
3 Jonathan Cantwell Jittery Joes Pro Cycling Team

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