Stage 2: 75 Minute Criterium
Today was somehow hotter than yesterday, mid 90s all the way. The course was flat and fast with six corners. One of those courses where its not really easy to sit in, but you can still manage okay in the back. I got a good starting position on the front row and rode in the top 5 for the first 10 or 15 laps. Theres bonus sprints every 5 laps, for time bonuses and sprint points. I won the first won pretty easilly actually, I was surprised. So I hung around in the front and managed second in the next one. Then dropped back a little but still got back up and had a go at the third, but wasn't far enough up, but didn't feel like I had the snap I had on the first two, so I decided to chill and not use up anymore energy on the rest. I sat mid-pack for the rest of the race, the pace wasn't so bad, but the heat was defenitly slowly taping into everyones reserves. At some point mid race a couple of guys got off the front and got a sizeable gap and held it to the end. With 4 laps to go I made my way back up into the top 10 wheels and decided I needed to have a go in the sprint to try and get some more time bonuses. I was sitting 8th wheel coming into the finishing straight which is fast and sort of dips down slightly and then gently rises to the line. I knew from the third bonus sprint that I would be hard to come around many people. But the pace was fast and I had a solid sprint and managed to get 5th in the field sprint, which I think will end up being 8th overall. So, as far as I can tell I secured 16 seconds in bonuses, which should move me into 24th or so overall, depending largely on how everyone else faired today. Hopefully I should be sitting top 5 in the points competition as well. So overall I am happy with how things went, it would have been nice to have contested a few more sprints but I think being conservative should pay off over the next two days. My LMC teammate, Preston Anderson got a bad starting position and the cat3's started really hard, and he got gapped off the back early getting caught behind some weaker guys and got pulled. But I think he should be ready to roll tomorrow for the circuit race.
In the Picture, I am third wheel fighting for position with Cesar Grajales going into the last few laps. He rode in the front the whole day, it was pretty amazing.