This weekend will be my first crit of the year. It is crazy to me that I have not done one yet so late in the year. There were a few crits that were canceled earlier in the year, and I missed out on one right down the street from me at Forest Park. I was out of town for work.
I love crit racing. It is fast and technical. There are a lot of people that don't like it because of the speed and "all the turning". When I started racing I figured that turns were a place that I could make up time and save some energy if I was really good at them. I have always liked the rush of pushing the speed through turns. I have done some turns in the wet where I have both tires sliding and just road it out. It was a pretty strange feeling but you just keep your cool and keep your eyes where you want to go. There are a lot of guys out there that can ride like the wind, and I am one of the worst group ride guys, I never win. But put me in a race and it is a different story. I don't ever feel like I work harder or anything, I think other people just go slower......
So this weekend's race is the Ardie Miller Belleville Crit. It is held in downtown Belleville IL on some great roads. It has 6 hard turns and 2 sweeping ones. One of the hard turns in at the bottom of a downhill section, and most riders are very weary of this section. Then we go through another left hander and we go up a slight uphill for about two blocks. We have a left and a right till we hit the home stretch. A couple years ago I won this race as a 4 in a two man break away. I had planned to try a break but I went very early, more on impulse than actual good racing, and held the lead for the next 16 laps. Last year we had a lot of rain which made for a very difficult race.
I am feeling pretty good for this weekend. I have not raced in a couple weeks and I was away from riding all last weekend being at regional championships. So I will just wait and see how it works out. Check back for more details later.