EVENT - US Naval Academy Criterium
DATE - March 23, 2013
AUTHOR - Michael Mulvihill
CATEGORY - Men's A
TEAMMATES - Naegli, Rinehart, Howe, Timmerman
RESULT - 1st of 26
COURSE DESCRIPTION - 1 hour closed course 0.7 mile criterium. 2 defining turns, one into a short uphill and one tight downhill-to-flat before the finishing straight
PREVIOUS RESULTS - First time racing this course
WEATHER - Sunny, 50's, tailwind through finish
GOAL - Maximize team result
PLAN - To achieve our goal of maximizing our team result, we asked each member of the team to look for opportunities to improve their chances and force a well-represented selection.
RACE SUMMARY - The race started at a solid pace as we got familiar with the course. Unfortunately some got a little too familiar, with a Bucknell rider tangling himself up with Timmerman and Payne Griffin (American University) taking a bit of a summersault while leading the field through the final turn.
At about 15-20 minutes in, Howe put in an acceleration, opened up a gap, and got to work making the rest of the field chase. A small rotation of the usual suspects worked to keep Howe in check while Duke got a free ride. No one seemed eager to bridge to join into the long break, and instead Howe was slowly reeled in after about 10-15 minutes.
Rinehart launched a nice counter-attack the next time up the rise, and it became clear that the number of folks interested in putting in the work was rapidly declining. When he got dragged back after a few laps he encouraged me to keep making the field suffer, so I looked for my chance to counter.
At the rise on the next lap I put in my acceleration and got to work. Being that we were only 30 minutes into the race I wasn't surprised to not have anyone else interested in playing the long game, but I was happy to get a leash and the chance to pick my own lines for a bit. I settled in for the TT and kept an eye out to see if anyone would bridge up. I knew that any bridge would have a Duke teammate or two in tow and would give us the selection we always hope for. It ended up being a lonely half-hour out in the break, but I was happy to finally put time into the field and eventually hold on tight for the W. Shoutout to the guys in the field helping shut down the chase! Kaleb had a nice result out of a late bridge attempt; taking 4th place for his highest finish in the men's A field. Rinehart won the field sprint for 5th and Howe arrived in 10th to give us a solid 1, 4, 5, and 10 top-four scoring on the day. Nice!
- Mike Mulvihill