Chris Rea recently finished 4th at Dana Point Grand Prix in the Masters 35+ 1-3, arguably the most scenic crit! Nice work, Chris.
How’d the race go down for you?
Rolling up to the start line I could see the race was absolutely stacked with Monster Media riders. I never got a final count but if I had to guess it was at least 12 riders in MMR colors. Not only was that a worry, but riders like Charon Smith and Rashan Bahati of Methods2Winning were lined up so I knew it was going to be a tough race.
I tried to do like my coach Adam advises and spent the first 20 minutes gauging the field and saving as much energy as possible. Even though breaks were constantly trying to get up the road I had some awesome teammates of my HitSquad_Racing team that covered moves and kept everything together.
With about 8 laps to go I started moving up and getting ready for the chaos that is the final couple laps of a crit. With 2 to go I had moved up to the front 15 wheels and thought I was in a good position. Unfortunately a swarm happened and I lost some spots so on the final stretch leading up to the bell lap I burned a match to get back into position.
A door got shut leading into turn 1 and I missed the wheel I wanted to be on, but I tucked myself out of the wind and got into about 10th position. I moved up a couple more spots but then Bahati pulled the ultimate teammate move between turns 4/5 and sat up from his 6th wheel position, causing a 2+ bike length gap on everyone behind his ace Charon. Unfortunately that gap put me too far back to contend for the win, so I powered through the last two corners and came in for a respectable 4th place.
Which coach do you work with and how did your training help you prepare for the event?
My coach is Adam Mills and I can honestly say that without his guidance the last 6 months I would have never been anywhere close to ready.
What advice do you have for someone up and coming in your cycling discipline?
If you want to be a crit racer you have to learn how to crash.
What is your next event?
My next targeted race is the CBR Memorial Day Omnium, which includes the masters state crit championships.