Monday, June 8, 2009

Oakmont Crit 6/7

I had to go home this past weekend to attend my little brother's high school graduation. Since I wasn't on the bike much last week due to MORE rain and I was going to miss the track on Saturday due to the graduation, I decided to race the Oakmont Crit while in Pittsburgh.

It was a fantastic course and a open women's field! It started in the middle of a brick road, with a left turn over train tracks, a slight down hill with another left turn, another left turn, a straight away up hill, a right turn into a sharp left turn over over the train tracks and then another left turn back onto the brick road. A .75 mile course, 20 laps for a 15 mile race. There were 2 prime laps for 20 bucks, 200$ of prizes for the top 5, and then a ton of other prizes for the top 3 including an 100 dollar gift certificate to a local boutique, an 150 dollar helmet donated by pittsburgh pro bikes, and a restaurant gift certificate. Yeah, sweet deal, right?!

Race day morning, was one of the most stressful race day mornings I have ever experienced. We got lost going to the race, only to get back on track and to the place where I thought the race was,just to find out we were in the wrong place. We had about 45 minutes to get 28 miles to where the race actually was in order for me to be registered 15 minutes prior to the race start. There went any kind of warm up. Then I got really nervous I wouldn't make it in time, so I called the race promoter and asked him if he would register me over the phone. Thankfully he did. I made it just in time to go to the bathroom, put my front wheel on, and get my number pinned on. Then I realized I forgot my water bottle. Aye yae yae. Luckily, I ran into a friend, Lee-Ann Beatty that I met during last year's dirty dozen and she lent me a water bottle.

Ok, so the race begins. I'm not sure how big the field was, but it was a decent size. It was weird because the bell rang, and everyone formed a pace line. A pace line, What? In a crit? So different then philly. The race started pretty slow which was nice since I didn't have a warm up. I was the second wheel behind Lee Ann, a great place to be considering she's a cat 2. On the third or fourth lap, the bell rang for the prime. Lee Ann and the other cat two Gray, took off and splintered the field. This race made me feel great about cornering, but reminded me how other people are sometimes not so great at cornering. Going over the second train track, a girl was fighting for my position and took the corner really shakey, I let her in front of me and lost my spot. At this point the race was broken up with Lee Ann and Gray ahead, a pace line of 4, and then me a bit behind them riding the race by myself. A few laps later, I passed two girls, and then got lapped by Lee ann and Gray, but taking their wheel. I then followed them when they lapped the few girls left in front. I followed them until the bell rang, they took off, and I hammered it, passing two more girls on my last lap, and finishing in 6th place.

Considering I didn't have any warm up or water on such a hot day, I felt great about my race. My cornering skills are great, Thank You, George!, and I feel really good about keeping a fast steady pace, and this was proved when other people started slowing down and I was able to pass 5 girls without sprinting.

So yeah, great course. The first crit I ever enjoyed. Oh, and there were no crashes! And Mike was there being my number 1 fan, and that was fantastic. He is always such great support and inspiration. I found myself a keeper, and can not WAIT to marry him.

Here are some pictures!

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