Wednesday, July 2

Exeter Criterium

Yesterday, Tuesday July 1, was the Exeter Criterium. I didn't race (need to upgrade to category 3) but I did go down to watch. There was plenty of excitement: PRO teams (Bissell Racing, Kelly Benefit, and more). Bad Weather. Crashes. Crazy Fans.

One thing about going to the races is the equipment. Where there's PRO teams, there's PRO gear. Bissell Racing's Pinarello Princes make my shorts tight. And then theres the guy from BOB Cycling who is now famous for no other reason than that he has a HED3 rear wheel:

BOB Cycling Shift HED3 rear wheelA good race always draws out the crazed fans, like Borat in last year's Tour de France. Check out this guy in the speedsuit, sandals, and American flag. I assume the aerodynamic speedsuit onesie is to make up for the drag coefficient from the flowing cape:

crazy bike fan
Women's Race
The action started first with the women's race, after a delay for a thunderstorm that dumped a bit of rain on the course on the otherwise perfect day. Hub Racing from Washington, D. C. had several riders and pretty much dominated the race. NorEast had one rider in the women's field, I think it was Kristie Reynolds. The finishing sprint was pretty good; sideline videos aren't much to look at but if you're interested I found the women's race final sprint on YouTube.

Men's PRO/1/2/3 Race

The men's race started off with the announcer mentioning a few of the riders to look out for. I don't remember their names (I'm horrific with names, I'd probably forget my own if it wasn't stickered all over town).From left to right, they are the overall leader of the New England Bikeweek series, the rider for the United States Armed Forces' team, and last year's winner, now riding for a professional team. I got a minute to talk to the USAF rider after the race. The sponsors pay for their bikes and stuff, and they get flown around to whatever races they are doing. How awesome is that? It's just like Forrest Gump playing ping-pong.

The roads were still wet despite the sun having come back out from the clouds, and a tight turn in to Phillips Exeter Academy was not good, with the men's field taking a crash. Maybe five riders went down. One of the Bissell riders got pretty hurt--looked like a dislocated shoulder or broken collarbone from what I could see. Someone nearby got video:

Then, at the end, came the men's final sprint. The race was won by Shawn Milne from Team Type 1. Team Type 1 was created in 2004 to inspire people living with diabetes to take a proactive approach to managing their health and overcoming the obstacles often associated with the condition. In 2006 and 2007, the squad won the eight-rider team division of the Race Across America and finished runner-up in 2008 while consisting solely of athletes who have Type 1 diabetes.

Shawn Milne, 2008 Exeter Cirterium Team Type 1 diabetes apidraSo, there's the Exeter Criterium, hosted by NorEast Cycling. Now we're looking forward to September, the York Criterium, and the Portsmouth Criterium.

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