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Justin Sowa Berkeley Streets Crit

As for the crit, I really had no idea what to expect going into it. Was just hoping to hold on and that I still had legs after Saturday. Turned out this course worked really well for me. The hill was steep enough that my weight advantage helped some, I could do 350-400 where the big boys were probably doing 500+. And tucked into the pack I was mostly freewheeling down the hill. I was letting little gaps open into the corners so I could pedal through and maintain momentum, and didn't have much trouble getting a good line. I was really impressed with this group, everyone was a strong bike handler and moved predictably and were communicative without being jerks. At one point I got boxed behind someone who lost the wheels in front and had to put in a hard effort on the downhill to get back, but I knew the race was slowing down into corners 1 and 2 so it wasn't the end of the world to drop a bit on the uphill and move up through the corners.

Because the lap sign was at the single hardest point of the race I didn't even notice the 10 and 5 laps to go signals. I thought there were about 10 left and then looked up and there were only 2. I still had good legs so just floored it from there, I think I made up 5 or 6 spots in the last two laps and still had enough to sprint for placings at the end which got me into the top 10.

My only regret is if I had noticed at 5 laps I probably had good enough legs to get the front, make Mike aware that I was still there and still had legs, and probably could've given him a leadout. I was about 5 wheels behind him with 2 to go and was about to move up when he took off on a solo move. Would've loved to use that last 700 watt effort I had to pull him to solo victory instead of just sprinting for 10th! Now that we know I can survive these, next time we'll definitely figure out some strategy. Most importantly for me, I think this race finally got me through the crit nerves wall. I had a lot of fun, felt like I belonged in the group, and really trusted my bike handling. Stoked for another one.


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