All in all, the crit/road race/omnium down in Gonzales, Texas went pretty well. The race was really well organized and the payout was one of the best in the state.
Coming away from the crit taking four cash primes and 2nd place overall left a pretty good feeling in my chest. The short version of the story is that a break of 8 got away about 20 minutes into the race. a chase group was constantly...chasing, which consisted of another group of 9 or so. The big guns in the race were Cole House (5th at Gila last year) and Ivan Dominguez (Ex-Pro Crit Champion). From the looks of it Cole house was leading the charge to bring the chase up to the break, which he succeeded in doing, twice. Personally, I didn't feel like having to deal with Cole in the break so each time he made it up, I attacked and forced a reshuffle.
I picked up two $50 primes in the first half of the race. With about 8 laps to go the pace was pretty fierce and people really started suffering. Our lap times hovered around 2:15-2:30 for the one mile laps. I decided to put in a dig around the last two corners and into the tailwind homestretch. Coming through the start finish to see seven to go I had about 8 seconds on the group of 7-8 behind me. The announcer called a $200 prime and I decided to go for it. How I felt after that effort would be a problem for future me, present me saw $200 for 2 minutes of work. I held the around 12 seconds and got the prime. Six laps were left and I figured the group behind would not be very motivated to chase that long from the finish so I decided to put my head down and take a chance. Three laps/miles later and pushing a little under 27 mph my gap was floating between 15 and 20 seconds.
Looking up from gnawing on my handlebars and coming through the start finish with 3 laps to go I looked back to see current national crit champ David Wenger bridging up. This was a welcome site because he was the only one with a teammate in the group behind and I knew the chase had a good chance of becoming disorganized if he was with me. This was a both a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because my legs were hurting like hell! I could really feel every bit of the rather unpleasant 92 degrees that it was. My body wanted to shut down but I didn't want to leave that day feeling as though I didn't give it my all.
He pulled through hard I pulled through hard, we decided to split the $400 gamblers prime. We had the common goal of not getting caught and would share that until the last lap. If we didn't work together there was no way we would stay away. With 1.5 laps to go my body was completely fed up. He wanted no more of this debauchery of pain. I told it to shut up one more time but my legs pretty much stopped pedaling. Simply put...I could barely pedal, I wasn't cramping but definitely was overheating. We weren't going insanely hard, my average watts for the last 7 laps were around 320. Wenger attacked about 300 meters from the finish to seal the victory. I awkwardly forced my bike over the line to take 2nd and immediately looked for ice/water. My body was covered in goosebumps. I'll write about the Road Race and omnium tomorrow...I have a lot of wedding planning left to do before the big day...exactly one week away!