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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Beginning of the Belleville Criterium

[Special Note:  I have a "Music Player" gadget, 4th down to the right. You may run audio from it or the video as you see fit by pausing the music player or muting the embedded video. Enjoy!]

Yo race fans!  Here's the beginning of the Belleville Criterium and a prime lap and it's after effects. 
What can I say about this race?  Where do I start?  Ok the basics.  This was shot at Belleville Illinois on May 2, 2010 and was sponsored by VeloForce Cycling Team and is part of the MOBRA (Missouri Bicycle Racing Association) racing series.  The cool thing for me is that I get free entry to all MOBRA races.  This adds up.  Last year I paid over $1600 in race entry fees (including non-MOBRA races.  46 races total). [for the record:  my team reimburses $600 for race entries for all team members cat. 1-5]

Oops, I got off topic.  This race, was a smaller "training race" category 1-3.  In Missouri, the traditional true race season used to be from Memorial Weekend at Quad Cities and ended on the Labor day Weekend at the Gate Way Cup in St. Louis.  Prior to Memorial Weekend (now the Joe Martin Memorial Stage Race that is in Fayette, AR this weekend) the races tended to fall into the "training race" category.   A "training race" defers from a "serious race" in terms of the field/peloton size's quantity, and quality, and that is often determined by the prize list.  Training races typically have little to no prize money and the entry fees go the funding and operational budgets of the sponsoring teams.  (All teams must sponsor or put on a race as per ruling of USA Cycling organization).

Ok, so on this particular video I shot from a rear perspective.  It turned out much better than I thought it would have in terms of content and quality and in fact I think it may become my default format.  It's rather cool to see what's going on behind me, it's a view that I would have never otherwise observed and from a race fan perspective it shows riders faces instead of their backsides (much better).

As for the race itself, it was a little frustrating for me concerning team strategy and individual strategy. Dogfish was by far the largest and most dominating team.  I estimate out of a field size of maybe 40, 7-8 riders were Dogfish (20%), while I only had one team-mate and breifly at that (Jason Wolfe, cat 3 raced earlier and did the last race for fun..... or so he had hoped.  Did you have fun Jason?).  At anyrate, Dogfish controlled the race and allowed their timetrialist Justin Maciekowicz to lap the field solo. I tried to pursue a few times, but Dogfish and the field decided that that wouldn't happen.  So I sat in and sprinted for a 4th place.  Not too bad, when all of the factors are considered.  Oh, and I did win that $25 prime that's in this particular video.  Pay attention to the corner immediately following the prime because I don't think it can be gone through any faster.  In fact, I was amazed that I didn't crash.  I was on the inside of the rider that I was contesting for the prime and I wasn't able to set up for a super fast left turn.  Happily my Vittoria Tubular tires held onto the road (I mentioned earlier that tubulars corner better than clinchers..... this could be opinion, but I believe it to be true). 

I have another video of the finish, so please enjoy.  Also, if anyone has questions that I can address, please ask and I will put a response into the contents of this lovely (or not so lovely) blog.

David Henderson

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