Day 7: crit grit from the pit

Dear MIT Cycling,

If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that today was the criterium in downtown Fort Collins.  The race was set up to make nearly a figure 8-shape, which meant more corners than a picture frame shop.  The women’s race was quiet: they kept a blistering pace, with Martha and Laura both contributing to the pain and nabbing a few prime points.  The group stayed together for the most part, allowing our own mini-godzilla clone, Yuri, to snag fourth place in the field sprint.  The rest of the women’s team also finished in the pack.

The men’s race maintained their own high intensity, with attacks being launched at various points.  Most of those got reeled in after a few laps, with our own men either covering, bridging, or leading the charge to chase down those measly pipsqueaks who thought they could get away.  In the end, a pair of riders did get away, and the rest of the field put in an incredible sprint — with Pretty Boy Sears nabbing 9th.  The rest of the gents pulled into field spots in the top 30.

One key result, from the team’s perspective, is that everyone who went to Nats was able to hang with the big dogs.  In the crit, everyone who rode stayed with the pack in both the men’s and women’s races.  It makes me proud to see that many amazing racers pushing pedals hard for MIT.

The remainder of the day involved lounging in the hallway, setting up TTT bikes, and dealing with Michael walking around shirtless again.  Makeshift test “jigs” were constructed from race flyers and dental floss, hacksaws were employed (sorry, Chewie), and Tim learned how to wrap bar tape.  I said something a little too loudly about the “crack pipe”, the angled valve extender used to inflate disc wheels, just as a three year old and her mother walked past; the look I got was a mix of “you said what in front of my kid?” and “thank goodness my kid doesn’t even know what that means.”  (Michael explained it to me on Day 2, so I at least knew what it meant.)

The team omnium is still up for contention, at least in my opinion, with MIT’s strongest event early tomorrow morning.  Whitman is currently leading the team points race, and we’re not helped by the fact that there are limited numbers of teams registered for tomorrow’s race.  Everyone around here is taking it seriously and are ready to ride a great Nats TTT… then leave for a triumphant return to the coast.

Oh, and Michael thinks he might be allergic to shellfish.  He found that out last night.  It probably wasn’t the steak, salmon, shrimp, baked potato, or beer that he also ingested during dinner.  Sally Struthers was in the back of the restaurant crying at how many African villages that could have fed.  (Answer: four villages for twelve days.)

Tomorrow: TTT, awards, then Tim and I start our epic return to The Right Coast.

Monkeys and cogs,