City Park Criterium
Rocky Mountain Road Club (Thump Cycling) organizes this event and it was fantastic this year. The weather was perfect for racing.
The day started off early with the combined SM5 and MM 40+ 5 group. Team VR7 came out in force for this race. We had four riders pushing their limits and testing out their legs. The 20 minute race was quick from the gun, and the announcer was quick to point out our team coming together to work hard on the front of the group. Chris Hill, Dan Kaskubar, and Chris Parsons strung the field out nicely and pulled for a large portion of the race at the front.
They were staying out of trouble at the front but also using up some of their reserves setting the pace. With about three laps to go some of the other teams had hit the front and an attack went off. One of the stronger Thump riders took a flyer off the front. He was eventually reeled in by the group, but still had the legs to make another attack and hold off the group. The peloton came charging through after him and Chris Parsons crossed the line fourth with Colin Rhinehart a few riders behind him. Since the group was combined Chris Parsons ended up taking second place in the MM 40+ 5 group and took the team’s first podium of the year! Colin Rhinehart ended up missing the podium in the SM5 group by one place finishing fourth. Dan Kaskubar finished in eight and Chris Hill continued his streak finishing 13th for the fourth race in a row.
The afternoon races went well for the team. The SM4 40+ group had a strong race. David Altschuld pulled off a seventh place finish in the group and narrowly avoided disaster with a guy leaning on him before going down on the last lap. Check out the video below that Garrick Mitchell captured. We hope for a speedy recovery for those involved.
The SM4 race was the last race of the day, and Mike De Sena pulled off a solid ninth place finish while I hung on to the back of the group the whole time and came in at 32. The team results for this race are posted below.
Deer Trail Road Race
Deer Trail Road race is the state championship road race. You have to travel about an hour East of Denver which seems like a flat part of the state. Don’t be fooled. Even out on the eastern plains there is a fair bit of climbing to be had. The course consisted of a couple out and backs on road 217 and road 34.
The SM5 and SM4 40+ groups rode a total of 42 miles for their races. Chris Hill was able to finally break his 13 curse and had a really solid race finishing sixth in the SM5 field. Colin Rhinehart came in at 18 after taking the last corner a little wide and needing to scrub some speed before trying to catch onto the back of the pack as they charged away up the hill.
The 180 degree turnarounds and the one turn in the course proved to be tricky spots in the race. providing their fair share of excitement. David Altschuld ended up flatting and ther is pretty much nothing you can do after that happens. He did finish the race though! Never give up! He came in at 40 well behind the group, but stuck it out and finished.
The SM4 race was 57 miles total with over 3,000 ft of vertical. Mike and myself lined up for the start under a shady tree and chatted with a couple of 60+ riders before the start. They were pretty funny guys and have been racing bikes for a very long time. It was cool to see these guys still out there enjoying racing and riding. As the group rolled through town on the neutral start we ended up pretty far back in the pack. I figured there would be plenty of opportunities in a 57 mile race to move up so I didn’t think too much of it.
About 20 miles in I realized the mistake we had made. The group never really strung out. We rode four or five abreast for the majority of the race. It was mentally taxing riding in such a tight group for so long, and moving up with near impossible. Mike proved that he had what it took though. He stayed calm the entire race and never dispaired. When the group came around the last 180 turnaround Mike was able to make his move and stuck with the group as they charged towards the finish line. He narrowly avoided going down within sight of the finish line and still managed to cross the line in ninth place. That was a solid effort on Mike’s part and we are proud of his finish at the state championship. I was barely hanging on to the back of the group at the last 180 turnaround and my legs were cramped from not taking on enough water that day. As the group charged away I did everything in my power to hang on, but got popped off the back. I still had four miles though to the finish line so I put my head down and rode as hard as my cramped legs would allow me. I ended up in 35th place about two minutes back from the lead group. I was happy with the result, and will be looking to improve. I keep saying that so hopefully the improvement comes sooner rather than later. Overall it was a great day at the races, and the team is having fun. Check out the fun video that the Primal guys put out last year from the race. It gives you an idea of the course and the dramatic music and preview feel of the video definitely adds to the quality.
Here are the team results for the Deer Trail Road Race. Good work out there guys.