Going into the Philly Crit, I was a bit nervous. I was still a bit pooped from the road race on Saturday where I had attempted a solo breakaway and found myself unequal to the task of staying ahead of a very determined pack. We were also racing with a combined field with a couple of especially strong men’s C, division 1 riders, so the whole thing seemed foreboding.
A fellow from Penn State went off the front almost immediately. I wasn’t feeling terribly strong so I thought I’d just sit in and monitor the situation. A few laps in, another Penn State lad attacked off the front to help him out and I stuck on his wheel. Honestly, I’m not sure how we got away from the pack. Apathy? I figured that if these guys were smart, they’d easily shell me after we had a nice gap, so I didn’t work too hard and in a couple of laps we were resorbed. After that I sat second wheel for a bit, jumping on every would-be break until the final prime when one finally stuck. I latched on to the wheel of this RPI gent who surged past me after the line, and by the time we looked back there was a decent amount of space, so we decided to work together with 5 laps to go. On the final lap, unaware of the team’s wise suggestion that I attack, I let him pull through on the back side and he attacked instead. Thankfully I was able to catch his wheel quickly and beat him around the final corner and across the line. Thanks definitely go to my teammates for some good blocking as well, particularly Matt Li, who I understand did a lot of work on the front. Without them, I’m pretty sure the Penn State juggernaut could have chased us down and put together a counterattack.
Overall I felt like this race was a great lesson on the value of being lazy and sneaky, which is to say that I had a super fun time!