Northfield is my favorite crit. The town rules, it’s not a long drive and the course is a true criterium. I was 3rd in 06, 2nd last year and really hoping for a win this year. I came 3 turns from having a 50/50 chance of that ellusive 1st place. The race’s speed made it hard to make a break stick. The effort was compounded by heat and a stiff breeze. I made one hard effort with David Schueler.
A simple test of the field really; who would chase? who would counter attack? how would I feel.. all were answered and i felt like this could be my day. With about 6 laps to go Paul Ellis made a hard counter attack on the backside of the course. He had to squeeze between racers to do it which allowed me to react quickly.
I knew a GP guy would make a great breakaway companion and discovering it was Ellis made me more optimistic about our success. We got a gap quick. But then it was recovery time.. but with 5 to go we were screwed. It was all or nothing and neither of us missed a pull. We never slowed and the gap grew. With 2 to go we were not going any faster but the gap was solid. Then it came crashing down. On the bell it was everything we had left. At this point you bank on a last lap crash by the chasers.. anything can happen so we kept it going but then they were on us. Oh well.. the best part was going through the finish on the bell; Hollywood really had the crowd fired up and i haven’t heard that kind of noise in a local crit.. ever. It really felt like Paul and I weren’t the only ones who wanted that break to stick. Thanks to everyone who made noise.. especially Hollywood.
skinnyski / EmilyBlanche photos