So it was up to Kele and me to represent KR at the Cascadia Criterium Series that began on the 29th and 30th of May with two new courses: Woodinville and Fremont. Kele was feeling strong on this new 3 corner course and as always stayed in the front not letting breaks get away. She held strong as the solo KR rider and took 4th in the Saturday Twilight Crit. Sunday was another 3 corner crit, this time I was able to join Kele, at least for moral support! It was a fast race with a very sharp corner one into some pretty unsightly concrete seams; turtles, cracked pavement and a manhole cover made corner 2 difficult with corner 3 opening up into a full-on drag race to make up anything lost in position. There were some attacks but nothing opened up a big enough gap to stay away. About half way through the 45 minute race, the pack split and Kele, having chased anything that looked promising, and I ending up in the chase group. With a nasty crash on corner 2 of the final lap taking out all but one of the top hopefuls, Kele and I safely took 13 and 14th. Despite a finishing out of the top 10 in Fremont Kele maintained 4th place and we were looking forward to a fun and hopefully more successful Thursday night at the 3rd crit in the Cascadia Series.
This counter-clockwise circular course with a gradual hill into a hairpin turn onto a fast downhill gave Kele the advantage since she is one of the few women who come out to race with the men on a regular basis. Like the last 2 races, nothing stayed away and despite one minor crash that threatened to gap me off and not one but TWO final laps, we had a safe race where I was able to chase a little and Kele dug deep enough to take 9th.
The 4th race in the series was the Ballard Twilight crit where Kele was solo again. A basic 4 corner crit with 2 long relatively flat drag strips 2 short sides, an uphill and a down hill. Kele worked hard, felt great and managed to avoid another crash that took out quite a few ladies. She held on to 4th again and gained more strides in her confidence. The 5th race, the Brad Lewis Memorial Crit, is another 4 corner course very similar to that of the Ballard race. With rain threatening every lap Kele and I gave it everything we had. I couldn’t get forward enough to chase some early moves but luckily, always in the right position, Kele was able to keep her eye on all the action, scoring some primes and making the other girls struggle with a fast pace. With 6 laps to go I found myself in a great position to attack on the downhill. I managed to stay away for a lap but the promise of a prime kicked the chasers into high gear. With another prime at 4 laps to go the pace was very fast but I managed to stay up front and attacked with 2 laps to go, hoping to string it out and allow Kele to get into the best position. I was caught at corner 3 and left it up to Kele who pulled off another 4th place!
Next up Kele and Tricia show them how its done in Tacoma at the 6th and final race in the Cascadia Criterium Series!
On the mens side, we scored 4th in both the Woodinville crit and the Seward Park crit. Ian is 6th overall and there is some room to move up in Tacoma on Saturday.
On another note, TRACK RACING starts tomorrow. Come out and watch! http://www.velodrome.org