The first mass start of the year kicked off Sunday with the CU criterium at Stazio ball fields. This is about a 10 minute ride from the house, so I had to go. I had several conflicts with the family between skiing, birthday parties, etc. However my wife and some good friends helped out for the 2 hour excursion to race and I am grateful!!
This is the first race I ever did in Colorado and I did it on the day after I arrived. Ever since that first experience it has held a special place in my racing memories. Back in the day there used to be a 3 week series in March to begin the race season. It is a great course, open roads and a hill to work the legs a bit.
We had nearly the whole 1-2 Sonic Boom team in the over 100 person field. The race was complete with several members of Bissell, Jelly Belly, Berry Farms, and other Pro teams, as well as some other large contingencies from the major local teams.
I had been fighting a killer chest cold that had my lungs hurting with any deep breath. But after an easy pace 5 hours on Saturday, my cold felt much better. It never really bothered me much during the race and I felt fine. The worst part of the race was losing my water bottle in the first lap and suffering my sore throat without any relief for an hour.
I pretty much chilled out the entire race, wanting to take it easy with my cold. I moved up into the top 10, then back to 40th, repeat about 10 times. It was one of those courses that was open enough that the group shifted around a lot. The bike handling was pretty good and I didn’t have to deal with too many close calls. There were several breaks and attacks, but none ever stuck since the field as so big and the course open en ought that it was full gas most of the time.
In the last lap I tried to move up from 25th or so and the side I took got shut down somehow and I lost a few places. Then I gassed it up the hill to pass a ton of guys getting popped. As I got to the top, the group I was in got gapped and it was on just to catch up to the lead group. My race was pretty much over when the guys slammed on their brakes in the first corner of that lap and I lost places. But that is racing and it was fun just to get out and back in the action.
I was encouraged to see Sonic Boom all over the front of the race with several guys going off the front in breaks or an the attack. Good omen for things to come later this year
See link for a pic of me at the crit back in the day. I am in the Colavita kit on the right.