Last night was the weekly Tuesday night crit up at UBC and we had the full support crew out with Car, Tam, Fisher the Superdog, Abbs and Lauren all showing up to cheer the racers on.
At 6:30 the Cat.5 men launched and we had Stuey, Mart and Sizzle in it to win it for our team. The laps ticked by until the preme got announced with the bell and I guess Stuey decided that the bell was announcing two laps to go for him so one lap after the preme, Bookbinder came roaring through the chicane and charged the line well in front of everyone else!
I thought he was launching a blistering attack to solo off the front for the next 5 or so laps; Stu was thinking "Wow, I just won my very first crit! Great work Bookbinder!"; and I bet the guys he was dropping were thinking "Good luck dude...5 laps eh?" Har har har...as you can see, the same move can be read very differently depending on your perspective...nevertheless it was hands down a good dig!
After Stuey came to grips with the real situation, he dragged his own carcass back on to the pack and ended up finishing very respectably, inside the top ten I think. Martin launched a scathing attack with two laps to go but unfortunately noone went with him and he was stymied.
A great showing though for the ever expanding Cat.5 contingent! Well done lads!
The Cat.4's rolled out of the gates shortly after 7:00 pm and tonight Markezzy wasn't there so I was riding solo. The field seemed a little smaller than it did the previous week so I fancied my chances of trying to pull a repeat performance.
The race was pretty uneventful for the first half and I tried to jump into a few breakaways, none of which were successful in the end and then we got belled for the preme lap. The pace quickened as usual and for the heck of it I stayed near the front. As we came through the bottom corner, I found myself in good position for the sprint so I made a last minute decision to contest it to see if I could stick with the sprinters in the group. I was a bit surprised at how slow the pace was approaching the chicane before the final straight and as I looked around, everyone was waiting for someone to bolt so I thought it may as well be me. I punched it as hard as I could on the exact opposite side of the road of the guy who I knew would likely win it. Hlaf way there no one had come around me yet, and then I saw on my left a Zimichcoaching guy inching up on me. Digging deeper I put my head down and threw my bike at the line for the win! Awesome! That was super fun and the first sprint in a race that I've ever tried for...
The unfortunate part is that the effort totally fried my legs, forcing me to sit in for the rest of the race trying desperately to recover. With one lap to go, the field was still together having just reeled in the last breakway attempt. I was pulling up the climb and realized that there was no way I could contest another sprint. With Phil Ligget's words "You have to be SO strong to attack from the front!" ringing in my head and thinking that maybe I could use surprise to my advantage, I quickly stood up and hammered my pedals with the last gas I had in the tank. I got a small gap on the field and gave it everything to hold them off but unfortunately it wasn't to be. When I came into the headwind on the bottom of the course, riders poured past me like the spring melt over Shannon Falls...I sat up and took consolation in the fact that I was bike racing on a beautiful evening in the best city in the world with my number one fan cheering for me.
Next week I go for the top spot on the podium again...