|photo courtesy of mwcdpe photography|
Last Saturday marked the first annual Wrightsville Crit which was hosted by Mason-Dixon Velo. Located on the edge of the Susquehanna River in eastern York County, this course provided the riders with a text book, four corner criterium race (.8 mile loop), with an added S-turn section off the 4th corner; up and over a rise that I named, 'Mini-yunk', after the hugely popular steep climb of the Philly Pro Race called The Manayunk Wall.
The weather was exceptional all day and the attendance was what I would consider to be excellent for this first year event. I was joined in the 5s by teammate Mike B and Chris Sherdel with whom I joined forces with at the Marysville Relay Race back in April. Mike Brenneman was jumping into his first road event this morning with us as well. Justin Sodorus and Craig St.Onge were in the Cat 4 field, after our race.
We went off on time and motored smoothly for the first lap, being led by a Kawasaki Green Jeep Wrangler. The rectangular course was as follows-- Flat start to a flat first right hand turn led to another right turn which brought you to a false flat descent. That descent sets you up for what could be an extremely fast right hand turn, depending on whose wheel you were on for that lap. Immediately out of the apex of turn 3 you had 4% uphill kick to another right hand corner which was the base of Mini-yunk. This rise took it toll on many people in our group to the point of 50% attrition by the end of the race. The top of the mini wall curved right, then left, then dropped you down to the straightaway run-out to the finish.
Being a new racer to road (only 2 events in 2011) I strive to come away from an event with something new I've learned, either by success or hard lesson. Some things I've bookmarked this year include patience, reading group for attacks, moving up in the group with 3 laps to go, holding your line in a group, i.e., don't close the door in a turn when others are around you (different approach though when you're single file, pace-lining the field.), remember who from the last race got top 10 and stay with them if possible (which I did for this race).
Near the beginning of the race I marked the winner of the Smoketown Crit in our field and stayed with him through the entire race, figuring when and if he gets led out by his teammate, I would go with him. Turns out I got the jump on him at the final turn to the straightaway. He looked as if he wasn't being led by his teamie, so I came out the outside of him in the last turn, made sure the SRAM shifter paddle was pulled back to the bar (lesson from the Johnson City, TN crit) and didn't lift off the gas until I hit the line. I ended up 2nd for the 5s and felt satisfied about the day on a whole, a clean race, no regrets from the event.
Congrats on Mike B and Sherdel for their first race on the road seeing as these guys are mtb and 'cross racers at heart.
Justin got 5th in the 4s. Craig ended up top 20.
Congrats to Melissa Clingan and her crew for putting together a terrific, local event!
Here are the photos from Brenneman's site....2012 Wrightsville Crit