Race Journal: Alum Ryson Walden Finishes 2nd in the Cardinal Omnium Criterium

Road Race at Huber’s Orchard Saturday, March 17, 2018
The men’s 3/4 road race was a relatively large field, so the pace stayed fast but manageable through the first 30 or so miles. A couple of breakaways formed, but all of them were reeled back in in due time. There was a little chaos while we passed the collegiate A field, but everyone mostly stayed together. Things got rowdy as we passed through the start/finish line for the last time though. With 12 miles to go people started throwing attacks, and with that people also started falling off the back as the pace got higher and higher, particularly up the frequent rolling hills and out of the corners. With about 6 miles to go, a break of 4 got off the front and would stick. Unfortunately, I was not near the front when it formed and the cagey nature of small Indiana roads kept me unable to try to reel it back in immediately, and a sizeable gap formed. By the time the field was able to get organized, it was too late and we were racing for 5th. Congrats to the break on their savvy and punching effort to close it out.

 

Criterium at Iroquois Park Sunday, March 18, 2018

IMG_5531Photo from @thestef23 
Alex McLaughlin told me to be third or fourth wheel up the final hill and then punch the sprint, so that was plan A. Everyone had breakaways on their mind after watching one stick in the 1/2/3 race, though. I tried to help form one about halfway through, but didn’t punch hard enough and the field stuck. After that effort and being stuck on the front for longer than I would have liked I decided to go back to plan A. Inspired by Jacob Holtgrewe’s 1st place win the day before, I decided to start moving up on the last lap and was able to hit good corners and punch up a couple of hills on the wide roads to move up to where I wanted to be going in to the final hill. Someone hit it while I was 4th wheel on the final hill and a gap formed. I was basically stuck on the back of a Papa Johns two man lead out train at that point. The perfect spot to be, but unfortunately I just plain got outsprinted and ended up rolling through in second place. A good result for me nonetheless, and a fun and fast race. Congrats to Papa Johns on a perfectly executed lead out.

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