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Report2003-05-21

Columbia Grant's Tomb Memorial Crit & Priceton's Orange Crit

Date: 2003-05-21
By: Chris Hair

The results are in:

Columbia Grant’s Tomb Memorial Criterium

  • Men C (52 starters)
    • 9th- Chris Hair
  • Men D 68 starters)
    • 22nd- Doug Markgraf
    • 63rd- Steve Bronstein

Princeton Orange Criterium

  • Men C (30 starters)
    • 17th- Chris Hair
  • Men D (45 starters)
    • 22nd- Doug Markgraf
    • 42nd- Steve Bronstein

Columbia

Although only three of us made it to the races this weekend, I was determined to maintain Drexel’s notorious presence in the ECCC. Saturday got off to a great start when we arrived in New York just in time to see the start of the Men’s A race. They did things a little backwards this time, starting from USCF racing and ending with Men’s D.

I had to grin when somebody asked me if I knew “that other kid from Drexel” when I set up my trainer (he was curious about Justin’s win last weekend). Since I was racing solo, my strategy was to disguise myself as a UPenn rider and try and fit in. This wasn’t a bad idea, since Johann, Marcus, Tres, and Alex rode an exceptional race. Together, they ate up a lot of the sprint points and took 2nd and 3rd. The course was mostly flat with a few sharp turns, which made for the fastest crit I’ve competed in this season. I almost ate the pavement after crossing the wheel of a Penn State rider on a sharp turn after a slight climb, but I managed to stay upright by some miracle…however, the rider behind me wasn’t so lucky…

Steve and Doug both rode very solid rides on Saturday. I have no doubt that in weeks to come they’ll be tearing it up with the rest of our D riders. I’m definitely looking forward to watching them next week. I’m still amazed that Steve had the guts to race after only owning a road bike for a week. Both Doug and Steve are excellent additions to the team, and I was extremely grateful for their company, navigational skills, and Tenacious D DVD’s. Also, Kudos to Columbia for providing an excellent course and making sure that everyone had enough space to watch and get ready for the race.

After stopping for pizza, we stayed at the lovely Econo Lodge, where we were given a lovely handicapped room and complete privileges to the coffee machine. The shower was level with the bathroom, with a single handrail on the side of the wall…weird. Penn, Tufts, and Delaware turned out to be staying there as well, and all tried to cram dozens of people into a single room without the knowledge of the hotel. However, some unfortunate teams blew their cover and were charged for the additional guests. For once, the advantage of having a small team is fully realized. All in all, I was happy to get my first C points that day and embraced our enormous room designed for the physically challenged.

Princeton

I don’t think I could have been prepared for Sunday’s race in Sussex County, NJ. New York was sunny, warm, and beautiful…Princeton was rainy, muddy, and miserable. I had a few equipment mishaps during the race, which could’ve easily been avoided. First, my lenses caked up with mud after the first few laps, which made visibility quite difficult when it combined with the heavy tint of my lenses. After taking them off, I realized that I had made a terrible mistake…I’m still digging sand out of my eyelids. On the uphill before the final lap my left foot shot out of my look pedals, which set me back about 200 meters from the peloton. I had just purchased a brand new set of clips, but clumsily forgot to switch them before the race. I spend a good portion of the final lap catching up to the group, which was exhausting. In a brilliantly stupid move, I tried to give Tres from Upenn a push forward, which nearly sent me (and him) sailing into the ground. However, he turned on his jets and finished strong. In the D race, Doug stayed at the front for most of the race and looked even better than the day before. Steve wore shorts and no shoe covers…he is totally badass. I have no idea how they warmed up after the race without the keys to the car, but I respect them for it. Even after a half-hour in the van with the heat blasting…I thought I was going to die.

-Chris Hair

The Coloumbia crit was alot of fun. I was the sole drexel rider but I feel I represented. There were many crashes some resulting with ambulances and broken frames. That kind of unsettled me as it was my first race but I went ahead. I lead the race for the first 6 laps pulling for everybody (I don't know why), then I got dropped by the lead pack. Then on the third to last lap I thought it was a sprint; I still dont know if it was as the results are not posted. I caught the lead pack and won the sprint that no one was really sure was a sprint. I didn't have it in me on the last lap, probably from to much pulling early on. I think I held on for about tenth place. After the race I did some fun nyc street riding, held on to a new h2 doin 45 for seven blocks on broadway whooooo. Found some fun bars and took the late night NJT/septa home. Fun Day and good race.

-Steve B

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