Saint Patrick’s Day Criterium
By Paul Vaccari (Rocks Sports Racing)
It was fast right from the start and there wasn’t a slow lap in the entire race. Riders were going for primes and trying to get off the front, but the pace was way too fast for a small group to go anywhere. About the middle of the race, they announced a prime and I had been sitting in so I was really fresh and I felt like going for it. On the back side of the course, I left the field and hammered to the line. Apparently, I had a couple of riders chasing. They wanted to put a break together. After winning the prime, I got in with the group and we started working together for about two laps and didn’t go anywhere because the field never let up.
After that attempt, I just tried to ride smart and wait for the field sprint. At about 3 laps to go, I saw that 4 riders had gotten off the front and they were still close enough for me to catch. I waited to see if anyone else would do the work to bring them back. I realized MRI’s winner was up the road and MRI was all over the front, content to watch their guy take the win.
Coming up on the bell lap, the pace wasn’t that fast and the break was still close enough to catch. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I sat in the field and watched a break right in front of me win the race, so I came out of the field on the bell lap and caught the break. As soon as I got to the break, I realized they weren’t going fast enough to make it to the line so I kept going past them . As I passed, Phil Tintsman got on my wheel and came with me.
With half-a-lap to go, we had a little gap and the field was back up to race speed. I got me and Phil going as fast as I could and then Phil attacked me and went for the win. At the last corner, I was in the middle by myself and really blown up. I was sprinting my hardest and slowing down with every pedal stroke. I watched Phil win and I was killing myself for second. Right on the line, I was passed by Charon going about ten m.p.h. faster than me. I was able to keep 3rd and totally happy that all my hard work didn’t get wasted not placing at all. It was a super fun race and I love the competition .