Josh Tack, Peter Young, Charlotte and I drove down to Boise last weekend for the Wells Fargo Twilight Criterium.
It was HOT in Downtown Boise at 4pm when the 4-5 race was scheduled to go off. Peter Young and I lined up at the start with 59 other riders from surrounding states. The pace was fast and fairly consistent for the first 35 minutes. A few riders attacked for primes, but were reeled in fairly quickly. I stayed near the front for the first half of the race and was able to dodge a wreck on corner #3. I slipped back into the middle of the group for a few laps and was really feeling the burn when they announced 10 laps to go. When we hit 7 to go the pace ramped up and I wondered if I was going to lose my lunch before the finish. With about 4 laps to go I was coming up the outside before turn #1 and there was another wreck. As soon as the rider went down I punched it and found myself in 5th position. On the back side of the last lap I passed a few more riders and found myself in 2nd position coming out of turn #3. The first rider and I jumped out of the saddle between turn 3 and 4 and I looked back just coming out of the last turn. We had a very small gap, but it proved to be enough for me to sit on his wheel before launching my sprint. The timing ended up perfect as several riders gained on me as we approached the finish line. A rider coming up the outside came very close but at the line I still had half a bike on him. Afterward, Peter said that he cracked on the second to last lap and decided to lay down on the sidewalk in the shade.
The main event started at 8:30pm when the Pro/Cat 1 men started their 90 minute race. Josh seemed comfortable in the back half of the field but ended up getting tangled up in a crash about half-way through the race. His rear wheel was unridable and his knee was quickly swelling. However, after securing a rear wheel from the pit, he jumped back in stuck with the field at the back. As riders cracked and fell off the back, Josh “punched their ticket” and maintained his position on the back of the field (seemingly effortlessly). The pace was unbelievably fast and averaged over 30 mph for every lap. The last lap average speed was 35 mpg as the winner crossed the line. Way to hang in there Josh!
A big thank you goes out to Tamara and Josh Tack for giving me pre-race tips. And a HUGE thank you goes to John and Linda (Charlotte’s parents) for hosting us and feeding us so well.