Old Capital Criterium

My blog has become a dumping ground for race reports and nothing else.  I must try harder to bring back some kitty content, at least, and maybe even some observational humor.  For now, this is it, enjoy.

Last Sunday the 33rd annual Old Cap Crit took over downtown Iowa City.  I first rode this race almost 20 years ago as a cat 4.  8 speed STI and ti rail Flight saddles were all the rage and I had 7 speed downtube shifters on my Trek 1200.  I placed 18th, for which I won $5.00!  Over the years my placings and category varied, culminating with a top 5 in the 3’s and being spit out the back in the 2’s.

This year as a 30Cent Squad rider in the cat 3 race I had 9 speed STI, a ti rail Flite saddle, and an Ira Ryan custom steel frame and fork with cantilever brakes.  Rain threatened, and I had decided not to race if it fell, but it was all dry and blustery when we took off.  The Old Cap is a fun course.  Lots of corners, a screaming downhill, and a climb big enough to hurt you but small enough to let you rip it over the top if you are so inclined.  I never was.

Picture courtesy B McConnell, see me hiding in there?

My start was awesome, I was at the front and just settled into it.  There were some teams there with some decent numbers and they sent riders away and there were some chases and some primes and at some point I noticed for a few laps in a row we were doing 30mph on the big police speedometer thing.  I felt pretty good in the race.  I was moving up when and where I wanted to, cornering well, and really enjoying my second crit in 2 weeks / 4 years.

We did 25 laps, and when we got 6 to go everything was still going well as we headed down the hill, but then the corner arrived, and the rider in front of me had some kind of issue and suddenly had his inside foot out and was going all cyclocross style into it and shi-whoops, he slid out and ate it.  Being on a finely crafted bicycle with a straight blade fork I just cranked it hard to the inside and made it past what sounded like rapidly amplifying carnage behind.  A quick look over the shoulder confirmed, anybody behind me was on the ground or gone.  A quick look ahead showed that a  gap had indeed opened from me to the field.

I punched it and got back on by the base of the climb and was feeling all proud of myself, but honestly I was a bit shaken by the near miss.  We came back to the start/finish and those that had crashed and risen again were being pushed back into the field.  I was bummed to be at the back and now have guys just getting back into the field in front of me.  Things were not as they had been…

Then it started to lightly rain.  4 laps to go, I am still at the back and not at all happy with my position in the field or the precipitation or the guy in front of me who I think was in the crash and kept messing with his bike and farting around through the corners.  Did I mention the race was almost over and I was tired?

I fought on for a lap, and when the guy in front of me who had crashed and was then messing with his bike threw his derailler into his wheel on the climb I mentally said UNCLE and just gave up.  Came through the start/finish with 2 to go just off the back and figured I would just roll it in solo.  Which I did.  For 17th place.  I thought that might have been good enough for another $5.00 but I guess in this economy all I won was being done.


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