Keeley Report: Downer's Grove

So I have not written a race report since I was asked at the Winfield
registration "Hey, aren't you the guy that writes all of the long
But, I realize that it is just as easy to delete this muck if you do
not want to read it. Plus, I have always been interested in other's
race stories, so here goes:

DG Race Highlights:
First of all, ABD tent and ABD group: Way cool, good to see so many
clubbers out for the race!

Cat 3/4 Race: I am bad at estimating a field size, but know that we
did not have all of the 100 that signed up for the race at the line.
It was dry up until about 20 mins. before the race began, then came
the rains. I let some air out of my tires and lined up for the race.
I was chatting up a xxx rider in about the 5th row when we noticed
the race was beginning (no whistle and many others were not aware of
the start). I took about 3 attempts to clip in, which I am usually
good at. I finally got chugging and found myself mid-pack. I took it
pretty conservative for the first 2 laps, sizing up the field and more
importantly, the slick turns. I was beginning to make up some spots
and would say I was probably about 20-30 deep when a wreck occurred in
turn 1. I was thinking of laying it down to take the free lap, as I
practically had to stop to avoid the carnage, but thought better and
weaved my way through. It took about a lap and a half, but I did
rejoin the field. by then I was good and cooked and was just happy to
finish the race off with a bit of a sprint, but was not really
contesting much and took 26th. I felt good about it though, as I am
never good at holding a hard pace for long and that is what I had to
do to catch back on.

Cat 4/5 30+: I had told my wife earlier in the week that if she had
to pick a race to watch, this would be it. After the debacle in Elk
Grove, I had little confidence that I could navigate my way with the
3/4 field. I had discussed with Jay Corgiat about leading him out
into a flyer on the stretch between turns 2 and 3 about 15 mins. into
the race and then hoping for some help on the blocking front, beyond
that I was looking to stay up front out of trouble and look for
openings in the field sprint. I started right on the line in a large
field, but again not quite the 100 that signed up. I luckily had
brought 2 full kits so I was somewhat dry at the onset of the race
(except my shoes had about 3 gallons of water in them still). I again
had issues with the clip-in, oh well. By turn 2 I was back at the
front and I led over the hill at turn 3 and through the rest of the
first lap. I actually had a small gap coming out of turn 8 and
decided to give a few kicks to see if the gap may grow. It did not,
but I did get my name announced as I crossed first (if only Busteed
and his smooth vocals were doing the race...). The next 6 or so laps
saw a couple of breaks form, but nothing too special and I kept myself
in the top 5 the whole time, which was nice, as we took the turns
smooth and quick. Jay had moved into the top 8 riders and I asked him
a few times if he was ready, he kept saying "not yet." I guess on the
next lap he said "let's go now," but i was getting a drink and gave
him a "deer in the headlights" look. So, we did our fancy little move
on the next lap. i jumped too hard, backed off, jay latched on, we
went again and I pull aside right before the hill on turn 3. Jay got
about 30 meters and held it for 1/2 a lap and then a massive chase
began on both sides of me. All i could do was jump with them and
watch as Jay pulled back into about 8th wheel. Almost immediately xxx
did the same thing that Jay and I did, but most of the folks up front
were either too tired or not concerned enough to chase. The one guy
got off and built close to a 10 second lead on us with 2 to go. Jay
marched back to the front, I sat on his wheel and he pulled all of us
right back to the breaker. It was nice to have someone with the
stones to throw his finish chances in the trash for the sake of
brining the field back. Once I saw that, I knew I had to play my
cards right and make sure his work was not in vain. With one to go,
he was swarmed and we both dropped back a bit. I was able to regain
position and was top 5 by the top of the hill on the back stretch.
Coming out of turn 6, Voytek from WDT came charging up the inside from
about 10th position, I latched on and we were able to take the front
prior to turn 7. We took a wide, fast line through the last two turns
and had a nice 10 meter gap as we entered the finishing straight.
When I saw the gap, I knew I had a chance, especially since I had done
0 work to get there. I stood up and gave 3 strong cranks, each
resulting in a wild fishtail of my rear wheel. I then settled down
and slowly ramped it up, moving around him with about 100 meters to go
and finished about 2-3 bikes up. Had it been dry, i may have raised
my arms, but I opted for a few fist pumps and a smile...never before
has 65 and rainy felt so good. I won some money and a medal and the
even interviewed me on the podium. I am not sure anyone really cares
what the cat 4/5 30+ under 6 ft. tall crit champ has to say, but it
was cool nonetheless. Till next time...

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