This weekend I raced in the second annual Bloomington Criterium. This year the event was made the Illinois state championship criterium. I love that Bloomington Normal has a local triathlon race, mountain bike race, cyclocross race, and a criterium! Just thinking about the local awesomeness makes me smile. A big thank you to the race director Brandon Beehner, the volunteers, and all of the sponsors that made it happen!
When I watched last years local crit from the sideline I was hooked. The speed and tactics made it look like a lot of fun! Earlier this year I did my first criterium to get my feet wet before the local crit. As I’m new to racing crits I went into the state championship in category 5, something I previously tried to be moved out of but USA Cycling has strict rules about new crit racers. My Bloomington Cycle & Fitness teammates and I worked well together and we had a large presence in my races and most other races as well. In my Cat 5 race, I went into the last lap in fourth behind a very strong teammate and after he pulled me up half of the climb on the back straight I jumped off the front and laid it all on the line. No point to hold anything back, and when I finished my sprint at the finish line, I found I was alone and in first place. It felt amazing. I was and still am a bit shocked. I have to thank my teammates for working for me in the race and helping me be in the shape I am in, Scott & Caryn from Bloomington Cycle & Fitness for being awesome and taking care of everything bike related I need, and especially my wife for allowing me to spend probably too much time on a bike.
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The location and course was great. The course was a figure eight with a climb on one side and a downhill on the other. The event is terrific for spectators allowing them to see a large portion of the course from many viewpoints.
The Pro 1/2 race had a Dodge Viper for the pace car, pretty cool to watch and listen to.