And the results are in !!! 1st place in the overall Omnium! (3rd place Road Race, 1st place Time Trial, 1st place Crit).
This past weekend Joe Essig, and myself participated in the Great Egyptian Omnium (Joe as a 4, and me as a 5). Joel Melby did the cat 4 road race on his spiffy new domane.
The road race was the first event of the weekend. The course is a 20 mile loop with the 5's doing 1 lap, the 4's doing 2 laps, 3's doing 3 laps, and the pro/1/2 doing 4 laps. There was about 1000 ft of climbing in one loop on the course, which isn't alot, but where there was climbing it was long and grueling. The lap actually ends on a climb which was a benefit for someone who likes to climb. My race started off pretty predictably, in classic cat 5 fashion the field spread out to about 4-5 riders wide with people trying to get to the front but also stay out of the wind. I stayed back for the first 2/3rd's of the race, there were a few attacks but they were reeled in pretty easily when the next climb would come up. About 16 miles in there is a long gradual climb that started on a section of road that had just been rock chipped, it was here where a group of about 10 of us were able to split off the front of the pack. Once the climb was done we all stayed together taking our turns in the wind and increasing the gap on the rest of the field. There was a climb right at the end of the race (nothing huge, about 500 meters at a 5-6% grade) which split the ten of us up. There were 3 of us that were the climbers in the group to cross the finish at the top of the hill first. The first place finisher was an obvious climber, a very small but strong guy, the second place guy blew up at the top but was able to get far enough ahead of me that I didn't have time to over take him before the finish. I finished about half a wheel back of the 2nd place guy into 3rd. I should probably mention that the heat index that day was over 100F and people were dropping off after 1 lap all day long.
Road Race Results:
Jeff: 3rd cat 5
Joe: DNF cat 4
Joel: 28th cat 4
The time trial was a short 12K course that was basically just over a 3rd of the road race course. The last 3 miles of the time trial were identical to the last 3 miles of the road race course. This was my first "official" time trial, but I expected to do well. After I was pushed off of the starting line you immediately go up a long winding gradual climb, then once you reach the edge of town it shoots you down hill on a very fun and fast descent. The first half of the time trial was a breeze, I wasn't working super hard until I started getting back into some climbing around the 2/3rd mark. The last couple miles of the time trial was a on a nice stretch of road with some rollers, the wind seemed to have turned around from earlier in the day. The time trial ended in the same place that the road race did, at the top of a hill. I had to get off the aero bars for the last part and wound up with a time of 18 minutes and 58 seconds. This was good enough for 1st place!
Time Trial Results:
Jeff: 1st cat 5
Joe: 20th cat 4
Sunday it was finally time for what is normally my worst event, the criterium. I was the leader in the omnium standings going into this event, so my goal was to get at least the top 5 to ensure a podium for the overall omnium. I had briefly discussed changing up my strategy with my wife before the event. She didn't think it would work, but wished me luck in trying it out. Basically I've always noticed that the first lap of every crit I've been in was always the slowest lap. Most likely it's because everyone is getting a feel for the course and gauging the strength of the field. I figured if I wanted to attempt a breakaway I should basically just do it on the first corner. So with that in mind I made sure I lined up at the front of the pack for the start. As everyone took off, it was slow predictable as usual. At the first corner about 500 meters from the start line I started hammering and easily got about 10 meters on the field right away. I was able to gradually increase my lead on the field around every corner. By about 5 laps in I couldn't even see the rest of the field anymore. By the time I crossed the finish I had amassed a 1 minute and 20 second gap. I crossed the line solo and wound up in 1st place on what is most likely my last race as a cat 5.
Joe did his first crit as a cat 4. In the cat 4 race everyone seemed to stay together from start to finish, Joe finished with the pack.
Jeff: 1st cat 5
Joe: 19th cat 4
I wound up being the overall cat 5 omnium winner. My goal was to be top 3 in the omnium and I was pretty happy to be able to achieve that. I wanted my last weekend as a cat 5 to go out with a bang. Here I come cat 4!