The skies cleared up just in time for the start of the Cat 1/2/3 criterium race at Marian University this past Saturday. More than 80 local riders turned out for the unofficial start to the race season; but it was Greg Strock of Texas Roadhouse who managed to hold off Kenda's Chad Burdzilauskis and claim the win. NUVO Cycling's Erik Hamilton came in 4th and Aaron Hubbell finished tenth.
Local rider Allen Galloway didn't race this weekend, but did provide us with his take on the competition from the sidelines.
The multitudes who descended into Indianapolis to create the Final Four "Butler Buzz" drowned out the sweet sound of carbon wheels rolling over the pavement near Marian University this past Saturday.
By 2:30 pm the pavement was dry in spite of the morning rains. The temperature was raising fast from 55 degrees which fooled some experienced riders in to overdressing. Many of us standing around felt the temperature rise by 10 degrees within an hour. There was a major tailwind traveling north to push the peloton up the hill every two and half minutes.
And most significant was the almost eighty riders that lined upracing for pride and then money. This was the second to last race of the day. Marian University was the host and organizer of the previous eight NCAA men's and women's races in four category levels. Dean Peterson coach of the twelve time national cycling champions said "there was a tremendous early season turnout of riders participating at all levels."
At the start of the race, with the start/finish line at the top of the only hill, and the first right corner and downhill, the peloton looked majestic as the swept around the corner. The first break formed quickly with four riders attempting to solo off the front of this large strong field with Brad Schaeffer pushing the action for three laps. The field bunched back up after 20 minutes into the race.
Five minutes later a four man break got away and broke the back of the field after several fast hard laps. The last lap the front breakaway four riders set up for the ending sprint. Gregory Strock said he "attacked 100 yards before the last corner surprising the rest of the group and soloed away for the sprint victory", with Chad Burdzilauskas second, Mike Sherer third and Erik Hamilton fourth.