More Preseason Success

At the University Oaks Criterium this past Sunday the Ags went 2 for 2.  Andrew Carlberg won the Cat 4 race and Ben Silva took the win in the 5’s.  Here is Carlberg’s recollection of the event:

So about two weeks ago, Ben sent his email about the University Oaks crit on Valentines Day and while I really wanted to do it, I had to check with the girlfriend first. To my surprise (ok maybe it wasn’t that much of a surprise), she jump at the chance to come see me race. Fast forward to this morning, the Silva family was nice enough to offer their house for the night so we got up, ate breakfast, you know general per race stuff. I’ll skip it so I don’t bore you. With about 20 minutes before my race started, Sarah, Ben and I rolled out to go check out the course. It was in the shape of a triangle (well a triangle with one corner lopped off, so I guess that would make it some sort of quadrilateral) but really a nice course. Coming out of the last 90-degree corner (or π/2 for “those” people (ok, I’m trying to be funny, sorry if its failing)) you had about 250 meters to the finish line. I mad a comment to Ben that if you wanted a chance at the sprint you needed to be top 5 going through that last corner.

My race started with the most pathetic whistle ever. So pathetic that two thirds of the field just stood there wondering if the race had started. At the end of lap 5 we got the bell for our first of 4 primes. It was 25 dollars and ever cent I won was going into a Valentines Day lunch with my girlfriend after the races. Well as we rolled through the last corner, I was out of position and just sat up. As the prime sprint was finishing, we got another prime bell, this time worth 40 dollars. That was evil. Anyway I was in much better position this time and open up my legs and sprinted to an amazing… 2nd place. As Top Gun has made me very much aware, there are no points for second place. This prime had a very interesting side effect, 4 of us were isolated off the front. We worked together for a lap before being swallowed up. Luckily the pack decided that it was tired of going fast and the pace slowed for the next several laps, which allowed me a chance to recover. The next thing I knew, we had lap cards. With 2 and two third laps to go, someone attacked out of the peleton and quickly got a big gap. I was sitting a little over half way back in the field as we saw two laps to go and decided it was time to make my move. The field always slowed down after the first corner so this was the launching point. I jumped as hard as my legs would go and could see the field start to respond as someone came with me yet I pushed on hoping for the best. 15 seconds later I pulled off and realized I had put a sizable gap on the field. My breakaway buddy pulled down the first part of the finishing stretch and then it was time to lower my head and dig deep again as we pasted the guy who attacked the pervious lap. 4 corners to go. I pulled off the front as my partner was slow to pull through. 3 corners to go. I’m back on the front. Quick look over the shoulder, no one in the field wants to ruin their sprint. 2 corners to go. I pull off and start to feel sick, I easier up for a second and took several big swallows (of nothing, don’t worry). Last corner. Other guy has about 2 bike lengths on me and I know the field is getting close. Time to use everything I have left. 150 meters. Blow by the other guy. 10 meters, quick look over the shoulder (oops) I’m going to do it. Line. Victory Salute!!! My first win!

So next up was Ben’s race, which he won (he can tell the story but the last 25 meters were amazing!!!!). Next we both did the men’s open, which just hurt. Oh well (it was won by Amy’s boyfriend by the way). Meal report: Liz and I ate at the Gristmill in Gruene and it was amazing. So that’s about all I got. Can’t wait for Tunis, its time for A&M to start dominating this Colligate stuff.

Andrew “Wow that Tarmac is stiff!!!!” Carlberg