Race Journal: Ryson Walden finishes 2nd in Lexington Criterium

Lexington, Ky– Ryson Walden skipped the Lindsey Wilson Collegiate race and rode in the Category 5 and 4/5 races in Lexington, Ky on Saturday, March 21st. He finished 2nd in the Cat 5 race, 16th in the 4/5. Here is his report as told by the man himself:

LEXINGTON RACE REPORT:

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Cat 5 race: It was way too cold when the race started. I was the only U of L rider, which allowed me to be nice and selfish. The first 20 minutes or so seemed to be pretty typical of a cat 5 circuit race: nobody wanted to work together and nobody wanted to try to break. I had decided before the race that I was going to follow any breaks that I thought might stick, because I was pretty set on winning this one. With 4 laps to go one guy broke, but he was drafting off of lapped riders so I didn’t take it too seriously until he was still out there with two laps to go (nobody wanted to pull.) Another guy who talked too much started to bridge to him, and I followed. We caught him pretty easily, but when we caught him he was burnt and the guy who I followed on the bridge wouldn’t pull, so I let the pack catch us. Ben Brantley from Schellers Louisville countered as soon as the pack caught us with about a lap to go. He managed to pretty quickly establish a serious gap, and I realized we weren’t going to catch him. With a half lap to go, I broke down a hill to try to bridge to him. I dropped the pack, but the course finishes up a slight hill and I didn’t have enough in the tank to catch him. I finished in the middle of the winner and the pack, without having to sprint. This got me second place.

Cat 5 POST race: On the results, they said Ben and I both DNF’d (even though we got 1st and 2nd), so not only did I get my first podium, I got to dispute my first race results! It was painfully mismanaged and I had to walk the directors through it for about an hour to show them where they went wrong: There was a pack that was getting lapped right in front of Ben and I, and they thought we were in that pack and had a lap to go. Luckily, Ben’s teammate Patrick Bucayu was recording the race and showed the directors the finish. They conceded, and I got my second place and a water bottle.

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Cat 4/5 race: This race started 30 minutes before I thought it would so I only ate a cookie between races and then forgot my bottle. There were teams in this one, and they did good team work. 4 guys broke early and held the break the entire time. I was happy with my finish in the chase pack, finishing in 16th, which I didn’t think was bad all things considered.

-Ryson

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