To start, a little crit re-cap. It was cold again for the crit, but not bad. Surprisingly i got a third row call up. not sure how but it was awesome. You can see how big the field was in this photo.
The race basically started in a flat out sprint for the first 3 laps. i was lucky enough to get into about the 10'th position so i didnt have to work to much with the accordion effect around the corners. The race slowed for maybe 5 seconds, but attacks would fly the whole race keeping us above 30 mph the whole race. So i knew that nothing would be able to get away. I felt really good during the crit, wasnt to hard to sit in and i knew i wasnt gunna get off the front. All though i did go with 2 or three attacks because it was easier to be right near the front than 20'th wheel. Surfing the front of a super fast crit is something i definetly need to get good at.
I think about half way through the crit i kinda learned how to race them better. something clicked in my head and i realized i was riding the corners like an idiot and was tapping my breaks to much. and from then on in the race i litterally didnt touch my breaks unless i was going to run into the back of someone. This realization was awesome cuz i was taking the corners so much faster.
I yelled at Max Korus once because he was racing like he was at an ECCC crit and chasing things down. I knew that he had a good chance cuz he was surfing the front like a pro, so i told him to get the hell off the front because other stronger teams would pull things back.
When the last 10 minutes of race came, they still hadnt put up lap cards which i thought was weird. we came through with 9mins and 30 seconds and they finally put up 9 laps to go. WE WERE DOING a little about 1 MINUTE LAPS.. fast as hell... i was around 15'th wheel going into 2 laps to go and feeling good about it, then one straight away a flurry of movement happened and i found myself in about 30'th position!! WTF. that sucked. i knew i was going to need to use some energy to get up front, so i got back up to around 15'th wheel again and was OK with that, then the dude in front of me got a flat and litterally couldnt turn so he went straight bumping me waaaaay of my line and causing me to slow really bad going into the final 2 turns.. that was the race! Pavel Gonda races like a champ coming in 5'th place and max korus right in front for 4'th. It was great seeing the ECCC represented on the podium at nationals.
Also Arielle Filiberit absolutely dominated the DII field with wins on both RR and Crit. WAY TO GO DARTMOUTH!!
The banquet was fun, i made a pit stop up at UVM's room to see if they were going and immediately found my water bottle being filled with Alcoholic beverages. So i took my water bottle down stairs and had a few celebratory beers with Pavel, and some chocolate cake!! Pavel was pissed at this point because he didnt win, but after a few beers and a lot of recognition at the banquet he was happy as can be.
Max and Pavel on the Podium for the crit
Pavel in 4'th for the individual omnium. and he didnt even know he made the podium before they called his name!!! a very pleasant surprise. Some of the best cyclist in the nation are on the podium. Including Rotem Ishay who wont MTB nats xc and stxc. Pavel was very happy to have beaten him.
The after party was really fun. There were some huge parties going on, Northwester college threw the best one with having different rooms connected to make one big party room. although the party got broken up by some cop. (funny story on how we got invited to this party, Pavel met this girl and needless to say, after he won 2 medals she wanted his number! haha so then we got invited to this sweet party)
Then we went to the bars with some cool people and cute girls. I lost my shoes, so i was lucky enough to have Panpan let me borrow her size 7 girl sandles. haha. We hung out with the 3'rd place finisher from the road race that was from Cal Poly, really nice guy. And the rest of the night was history. I didnt sleep much, maybe a half hour because i had to leave for the airport at 430.. that was rough. and i flew the whole way home without shoes!! that was a good night. Some stories will not ever be told over the interweb because of the content that is involved!
sorry for the long post, Nationals was great and everyone should experience the sheer awesomeness of it some day. but only collegiate nats are probably this fun, i cant imagine the professionals raging as hard as we do!
UMass Bike Racing