Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I think most people will agree that criterium racing requires balls. Mixing it up inches from other racers at high speed around tight corners requires a lot of self-confidence in your abilities, as well as a lack of fear that the racers around you are likely to make a mistake. It requires experience, the ability to bump shoulders and various other body and bike parts without panic, a sixth sense about what others are about to do, and the ability to be predictable and safe yourself. The Evanston Crit at Superweek was the ultimate test of my ability to stay out of trouble, as half of the field went down in high-speed crashes on that crazy course.

So what happens after you finally go down hard? Do you start second-guessing yourself? Do you second-guess others? Do you ride differently, potentially worse for lacking that supreme confidence that things will be okay? Do you stay far away from any potential trouble, thus also avoiding any decent chance of winning? Or do you eventually end up riding even smarter than before? Or maybe you just end up doing triathlons the rest of your life.

Anyone lose their mojo after a big crash?