Another week… another race. The crowd was a little bit thinner for this race as the weather was a warm 36F. With the absence of Patrick and his rockets, the group stayed a little more tightly coupled. Colin was also absent leaving just Mitch, Chris and myself to represent team OptumHealth Performance.
On the first sprint lap I decided to take the outside line and Chris grabbed onto my rear wheel. I death pulled him for a half lap. I quickly petered out up the hill but Chris had enough gas to go hard to the finish line and earn the teams first 5 points with a first place sprint lap victory. After the pull I was struggling to regain the group and didn’t reconnect for two laps. I really tried to use the downhills to my advantage to cover distance.
None of us really had any juice to go for the second sprint lap. It was just enough to hang onto the group until the last lap. We tried the best we could to get into position for the last lap.
At the bell Chris and I were somewhere in the 6-9 range. The group quickly became a single file pace line and we just grabbed a wheel and rode the line until the uphill portion. Everyone got up and started sprinting. I couldn’t make up any ground, but I didn’t lose any either. Chris managed a 3rd place finish and earned another 2 points. Overall it was definitely a good night for the team and especially Chris.
I finished 7th overall and that felt pretty good for the 2nd criterium of my racing career. I will respect Mitch’s feelings and not talk about where he finished the event. I think his wheel fell off this time or something?!
content/uploads/2011/05/optumhealth_performance_team.jpg (OptumHealth Performance Team)