3 Strikes and I am out. Another NCC criterium not completed by me.
First up this past weekend was the Loop de Loop criterium held in a suburb of St. Louis. This thing didn't start till well after dark and bed time for myself. 150 guys took the start line on the 1km course and of course I was started at the back. It didn't take myself to long however to get to the front and start racing. It was rather fast for the most part and nothing was sticking.
The course was rather dark and the darkest stretch on the backside was slightly downhill with plenty of bumps. This was the best place to move up as some guys just sat in the draft and coasted while I pedaled around them to the front. I didn't take unnecessary risks cutting guys through corners or bombing them. Some towards the end took even more risk for the $1999 prize purse which led to a number of crashes in the closing laps. I fortunitley stayed safe and out of the mess and finished 16th. After the split my teammates and I each walked away with a cool $6, but at least we were all in tact, which wouldn't be the case the rest of the weekend.
Saturday was the NCC race and main event. Sure it was fast and there were attacks, but to sit in the draft was much easier. It's one of the few crits where you could have sat last wheel all day and had no problems. Of course that is not how I rolled. The bad thing about an easier course is that towards the end of the race there are still 150 rather fresh guys looking for a result. I helped take teammates to the front and we were sitting in the top 20 going into the first corner on the last lap when there had to be guys going 8 wide into the corner and there just wasn't enough room. A pileup ensued and I was in it sliding upside down. I broke my pedal and my derailleur hanger which was popped riveted on (a long story) had popped off. The good thing is that I didn't have to worry about drilling them out, but once again I was unable to finish a NCC race. Really?
Sunday was another criterium, but with a broken pedal and a sore body I decided not to start and just go home. The team took to the race and unfortunately didn't come out unscathed. Andre was involved in the daily last lap crash and cracked his frame. Luckily he made it out ok though. Even though we aren't on the same team it was good to see Birdman come through with a solid result in 2nd place.