Monday, March 14, 2011 at 7:40PM
Tour De Murrieta 2011
Written by Platinum rider Tucker Eurman
Saturday I raced the Grand Prix of the Tour De Murrieta. It was a 6 turn flat, fast "L" shaped course with two long straight aways, a section of paver stones (like for your driveway), and a section with 4 corners right after eachother. This was my first Cat 3 race, and I wasn't sure what to expect- both with the "crit monsters" of LA, and the new category. Right from the gun we were off, with a few teams hammering on the front (not really sure which ones). I started in the back of the pack, and was surprised at the speeds at which we were racing on the straights (over 35mph), making it difficult to move up there, and also found it impossible to move up in the section on corners without getting cut off. To top it off, the road had those reflective bumps in the middle on the yellow line, causing two crashes. Other than that, the race was pretty uneventful, I made it to mid-pack and basically stayed there. The strategy that worked well for me in Cat4 has been to wait until 3 laps to go, then move from the back of the pack to the front 10 riders and out-sprinting everyone else. It obviously did not work this time. The pace sped up come 3 laps to go, and found myself "stuck", working not to move down positions, but couldn't seem to move up any. Out of the last turn I was mid-pack still and didn't bother to sprint. Overall I felt comfortable, and with a little tweaking of tactics, can hopefully get some results. Due to school and other responsibilities I was didn't do the TT or Circuit race.
Tucker Eurman ---- 27th Cat 3