12
Jun
10

THIS is how you win a sprint!

.0075 seconds, or the width of a tire.

The image above is from the Mineral Wells Criterium, hosted by promoter Andy Hollinger and his wife, Lauren. The race was held in downtown Mineral Wells, on a short course around the famous derelict hotel, the Baker, which has been unoccupied since 1962 or 72, depending on whom you ask. The course included a short, but steep, 100′ long hill, and a really rumbly back side, before two turns that returned you to the start/finish, on a smooth, descending stretch of road. The locals were quite welcoming, and it was neat to see the local bank highlighting the event on their LCD display. Temps were actually pretty moderate all morning, as there was a slight overcast sky, but it did not diminish from some really good racing.

The Cat 3’s went off at 9:30am, and several familiar faces lined up at the start. As soon as the whistle blew, we jockeyed for position, and I settled in to roughly 3rd or 4th position. The climb was really deceptive, as there was a longer ‘pre-hill’ climb that was long enough to string out the racers, but was still short enough to minimize gaps. An ALS rider led for the first 3 laps or so, and then wiggled his elbow to let someone else take a turn up front. As is my tendency, I pulled and took turns pulling for a couple of laps, staying near the front and trying to challenge for primes. However, the Williams cycling team had two really good riders, and they took almost every prize, including first and second at the end. When my chance came, I kept my hands down in the drops, pedaled as absolutely hard as I could, but was surprised to find a shadow overtaking me on my left as we approached the finish line. With a final burst, I threw my bike across the line, hoping beyond hope that the effort was enough to nip my fellow competitor.

This is the image, captured by the camera at 10,000 frames per second. 3rd place was mine, along with a nice payout and the satisfaction of knowing that I had done everything I could to earn that high placing.

Special thanks to Andy and Lauren Hollinger, and their continuing efforts to make Texas Racing the best in the nation.

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