The first two races of the 6 race "USA CRIT SERIES" were this weekend. Saturday was the infamous Athens Twilight Crit and Sunday was the historic Roswell Crit.
Athens is the craziest race in the world. It is awesome, 180 racers and about 5000 drunken fans surrounding the course. Intense would be an understatment, it is really an experience that can only be understood by watching the race and racing it is even more insane. The Abercrombie and Fitch team had 9 racers showing up to race. 8 of us hit the pavement (somehow I managed to avoid the crashes) We broke one bike, one wheel, and one wrist. Chad, the director extroidinare, broke his wrist and reid broke his frame and wheel.
The crashes were crazy I saw two of them right in front of me and both times I was first or second through them. The first one looked like someone caught their handlebars in the metal barriers at 40 mph and just flipped over. That one took out a good 30 or so people. I managed to sneak through barely and get back on the back of the pack. The second on was similar and again I was able to catch back on, that time I was the last person on and I was at the very back for the next couple laps.
Besides all the crashes the race was a typical NRC crit for me. I started at the back, tried my best to stay in the middle and out of trouble and then move up with about 5 laps to go. It worked all right and I snuck in for 19th place. It seems that I am always in the 15th to 25th positions in all the crits, no better and no worse. Athens is a great city and this event is the coolest on out there by far. There are so many people out watching and cheering it really makes you feel like a rock star.
Sundays race was the roswell crit which had at least two crashes as well. Reid got tore up again badly and broke his carbon handlebar, bennett crashed badly and someone told me he broke a rib and his arm but still finished....thats crazy.
Our team did well today and most of us ended up finishing towards the front. I tried to move up as best as I could, but started a bit late and managed a 23rd place. I would say that the whole weekend was a great success. These were the first national events for me and I was a bit apprehensive going in because sometimes these races can seem impossible to finish, but I felt good and it was a great confidence booster.
I have two days off to mend my aching legs before the series starts again on wednesday which kicks off the final four days in a row. Reid P and myself will be at all of them so hopefully things will go well. I hope reid doesn't run out of equipment.
I have new sunglasses and shoes--they are hot--thanks chad.