Papillion Twilight Criterium
July 16, 2007 · Print This Article
Papillion Twilight Criterium
July 14, 2007
More Photos Here
First off, it’s pronounced “PUH - PIL - YUN”, not “PAH - PI - YON” like most of the world pronounces the French word for butterfly. Weird, I know, but we are in Nebraska. Too much corn in our diets? You decide.
Got to the venue about 2 hours beforehand. My husband’s Cat 5 race started at 4pm, mine started at 4:50pm. It was HOT HOT HOT. About 94+ degrees and the typical midwest humidity. The only thing that made the trainer warmup bearable was the breeze coming from the north. Oh yes, that will come back to bite me, won’t it?
Standing in line at the registration tent, we heard someone say, “Hey, there’s a Velo Bella here!” Turns out, he’s a Webcor rider (Ben) from California who is staying with family in Nebraska right now. Nice to be noticed. I feel like a rock star!
The warm up laps went well. Half the course was uphill, with the back side being a fast descent into a fast corner and finally a tight corner. I took the first warm up laps slow to gauge the lines I needed to make the turns. The last turn was the diciest. You had to swing wide over a soft seam in the road, then back to the curb to make it without whanging the telephone pole. The leader from the masters race had already tested the hay bale in front of the pole. Definitely do-able.
This was a 40 minute Women’s Open race. Separate awards for the different Cats, but we all raced together. The start was uphill and I was in a bad gear. Duh! Didn’t think to check that!
The women quickly split into several groups. Then those groups splintered even more by the 3rd and 4th laps. The fast group of women seemed to hang out and work together. I soon realized, that the Cat 4 gals I was racing with weren’t going for that.
I was able to hold my own on the descent taking the corners tight and fast. I wanted to lose as little momentum as possible going into the hill. I lapped a few gals, got lapped a few times. I was just waiting to get pulled, about 10 minutes in I was in pain and wishing to get pulled. However, there weren’t that many women, so they let us all finish.
I got in my groove about 20 minutes in. My husband said I got “that stubborn look” on my face again. That meant that, barring catastrophic body or bike failure, I was finishing this race. I would gain a ton of ground on the downhill, but lose it on the uphill.
2nd Place in Cat 4! Okay there were only 4 of us, but I was pretty jazzed. Plus I won the unofficial award for “Best Bar Tape”
When I came in my husband was talking about how impressed one of the Corner Marshalls was with my cornering and handling. Tight, fast, perfect lines. Sweet!
On the way back to the car, a different corner marshall (from the dicey corner), stopped me and complimented me on my cornering.
I feel my first crit went well. I realize I have a long way to go, but it was an encouraging start.
BTW: Catherine Walberg (2006 National Masters Cross Champion) was the winner of the Pro women class. Even after testing out the hay bale on the first lap, she went on to win - just like the Masters race. Maybe that’s the secret, the hay bale bounces you up hill faster?!
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