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NE Criterium Championships

Team Bikeman - Race Reports

Of course, this all changed with about 4 minutes to start, my rear tire went soft and was spraying white no-flat liquid from under the tire, which wasn't a good sign. I had to dash to my car, change wheels and cassette, nervously fumbling with tools and bike parts in the gravel which didn't help me to relax much. I got the wheel changed and on the bike, discovered that in typical Steve fashion, I stupidly forgot to put my 10-speed spacer shim on, so I had to do it all again...

Made it to the line just in time, about 30 seconds before roll-off. It was a straight category 4 race, with about 60 plus riders in the field. Most of the race was your usual boring accelerate-and-bunch-up criterium nonsense, so I'll spare you that and skip to the end now.

With 6 to go, I got tired of riding in the pack, so I attacked as hard as I could for a half lap, I figured I probably dropped them good, but no, when I turned around there was someone on my wheel, and the field was strung out single file way all the way around the course. At least I knew I was making everyone work. There were none of my allies present, so the plan was a bust. A few guys did ride tempo with me at the front for a few laps, then it was back to riding in the blob.

Did I mention it was freakin HOT out?

Last lap, I was in about 8th place or so at the front, in a pretty good spot for the field sprint, and my rhythm was real good. We approached the final turn, and immediately to my right I heard what I thought was a shotgun blast, it was someone's tubular tire, which had exploded. The tempo broke, and everyone started sprinting way too early, dodging the guy with the blowout who ended up on the grass. I lost my boss-spot, and had to settle for 14th place in the ensuing mayhem, sadly out of the top ten.

Steve Morse

Images by: Mystic Velo
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