Today the 2010 edition of the HFX Crit is being held around the Halifax Commons. The only race that has the benefits of a closed course it is basically flat with wide sweeping corners which means its usually a fast paced event.
It is raining this morning which has the tendancy to cut down on participation numbers and spectators which is unfortunate as it is a great event to race and watch. Im racing Cat C so I am curious to see how the new category does today in terms of effort and participation numbers. Being a "sport" cat designed to bring out club cyclists I fear the weather will keep many away.
Needless to say it rained throughout the morning and only began to clear before the start of the singlespeed race. Guess Mother Nature has a thing for the "hipsters".Shame we didn't have the awesome weather esperienced hereabouts yesterday.....sunny,warm and 24C. I'm sure we would have had more racers and spectators if the weather had cooperated.
I admit I was having trouble getting motivated to race in the rain but once I geared up,got on the bike and soaked within 5 mins of my warmup lap I was good to go. I actually remembered to reset my cycling computer so was quite surprised to see us Cat C lads clocked an average speed of 35.5+kph at the end of the race.
We were racing 40 minutes plus two laps but the rain made it seem much longer. The conditions were wet and cool but the road surface was in excellent shape. Looking for potholes and ruts was one less concern and let the 18 riders focus on safe cornering and holding a solid line despite the sloppy conditions.
I went to the front on the first lap since it was a BPCC hosted race and I figured it was appropriate. Settling into the pack I sat in till the forth lap when an opportunity after the forth corner let me sprint up the right hand side through the start finish and into the first corner.A CS rider pulled up along side and chastised me(in a friendly way)that it was still early in the race for attacks.I replied there were no intentions other than to stir up the pack and let the boys shake out the legs with the first acceleration of the day. It was a race afterall.
Back in the pack I drifted up and back for the bulk of the race just keeping an eye on the pack, encouraging the BPCC lads(who did great)and just enjoying the ride.Late in the race I went to the front and once again assumed the pull heading into the forth corner but relinquished it before the turn towards the start/finish. I learned my lesson last year......everyone accelerates at thet point so its best not to be leading out less you get passed quite smartly.
On the last lap I accelerated from the back of the pack and positioned myself firmly in the middle of the group heading towards the finish. Not being a great sprinter and,frankly,intimidated by the ferocity of any final pack sprint I eased up the last 30 yards and finished with the main pack.
Overall it was a good day. I'm impressed with the Cat C lads and how solid they rode at the Port Williams Spring Classic and today in less than ideal conditions. Having a veteran commissar congratulate us for a solid, well behaved race also reinforced my admiration for the boys.
The icing was when I found out a club mate(JC) managed to sprint to forth place barely missing out on the podium in his first crit and second ever race. Nice!