Cat 3 Race Reports: Niwot Circuit!
From Gabe Rivero:
Let it be known that even though is more aero and more dad than any of us will ever be, he is still human. Congrats Gabe on 2nd in the Niwot Circuit this weekend!
Niwot circuit was a 6 mile rectangle with approx 350ft of elevation gain over 3 steps covering 3 sides of the course. Our category was to do 6 laps. Course was pretty fun but open to traffic which made for a couple of close calls with vehicles on the course.
My plan going into this was to place above my immediate competition in the Road Cup. This meant I was there to watch a couple of riders and match any move that they would make. Given the total elevation gain was somewhat broken up, it made it fairly easy for the group to stay together.
Going into the final lap, a couple of riders went off the front and got a pretty good gap on the field going up the first step of the climbs. The teams with a good presence were not doing anything to pull it back, so I took it upon myself to reel them in. After expressing my frustration on many occasions with others in the field, I was able to bring them back just as we rounded the 2nd turn and entered the final climb before a quick descent and final turn into the finishing leg. I was first wheel going around the final turn (not where I wanted to be) but decided to keep it fast so that no one could attack. About 4-500 meters to go, I looked around a saw that I created a bit of gap and decided to launch my sprint. Unfortunately when I crossed the line, no one was cheering, everyone had kind of a WTF look on their face and that is when I realized that I sprinted one lap too early. SHIT!
When I sprinted I pulled one guy with me and we had a fairly good gap on the entire field. Problem was that I threw my bottle the lap before, it was ridiculously hot, and I had burned a ton of energy sprinting. The guy I brought with me continued to ride away and all I could do was sit up and wait for the field so that I could recover a bit for the real finish. The field caught me and after we crested the first climb, we were relegated a bit by the moto as the P-1,2 field passed us but slowed just as they did because they still had another lap (7 in total) to do. Unfortunately and despite our protest, the motos allowed the rider off the front of our group to get a bigger gap as a result (I should have stayed with him). Anyhow, going into the real final stretch I was 4th wheel with my main sprinting rival in 2nd position. He went at about 250 but faded and I quickly came around him and the guy on his wheel to take second overall.
Lesson- Pay attention to the lap counter and not rely solely on the sound of a bell as everyone has