Aliquippa Criterium

Kirk Morrison and Mark Briercheck both attended the Beaver Valley Velo's only 2011 running of the Aliquippa Criterium.

Kirk tells the Master's Story:

Photo by Fred Jordan

Today's Aliquippa Crit was #4 in the ABRA series. I raced in the Masters 40+/50+ field which included a total of 23 riders while Mark Briercheck raced in the 1/2/3 race.

The conditions were good with temperatures in the high 70’s and a light north wind. The pace was fast with attacks starting on the first lap. None were successful as the peloton chased down every one. All of this action ended up giving an average speed of 25.2 miles/hour for this race. I was happy that I was able to stay connected to the main group through these chases as I ended up finishing in the main group in 7th place for the 50+ group. 

Photo by Mike Briggs

(Note: The results incorrectly show me in the 8th spot …. In reality I finished in 7th place since Fred Baldassare was lapped, rejoined the field and finished just ahead of me (one lap down)).

After the race I stopped by the registration to fill my water bottles. While no water was available, I was happy to fill my bottle from the keg of hop-enhanced electrolyte replacement drink (Belgian Saison, home brew – 8.5%). Very refreshing !!

Photo by Kirk Morrison

This was an extremely well run, smooth event. Jeff Grimm and his crew did a great job of organization while Gary Bywaters and Jean Cronyn handled the officiating duties with the great efficiency. Highly recommended.

Mark tells the Cat 1/2/3 Story:
Photo by Mike Briggs

The Aliquippa Criterium as seen through the eyes of Mark Briercheck:

The Cat 1/2/3 race finally rolled out at 12:30pm. With a decent breeze and a hot and sunny day I knew this would be a race that was affected by conditions. I did a LOT of pre-race hydration and had a gut feeling that this 1 hour crit would be easily be a two bottle race.

After sizing up the field and seeing some pretty big teams I chose to not chase any breaks. I figured that I would let the GPOA, CAT, Steel City, and Fu guys do all the work. When you're a lonely only you gotta watch out for yourself.
Photo by Fred Jordan

The first few laps of the 1/2/3 stayed together but it didn't take long for the attacks to really open up. With a nice tail wind on the backstretch we consistently would ride 31 - 33mph.

ss than ten laps in a 5 or 6 man man break went away and I thought the race was done.....

...but Mother Nature trumps all.

From the headwinds on the front stretch to the unseasonably warm heat...riders began to fade and only two guys were able to stay away. Most of the field re-assembled and held together for a bunch sprint. I tried to grab wheel but the heat took its toll on me too. I lost the lead group in the final 100 meters but was able to roll in with a 13th place out of 30.

After the race I was cross-eyed and nauseated...but luckily had a cooler full of ice water that offered a refreshing parking lot bath. All I can say is:


No comments: