Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Barre Bike and Fitness Festival - Barre Grand Prix - Barre, VT

This past weekend was the first of hopefully many Barre Bike and Fitness Festivals.  Citizens traveled from far and near to attend the event of healthy habits and entertainment.  With the help of probably hundreds of volunteers, the weekend was able to end in the smooth execution of the Barre Grand Prix.  The Criterium bike race meant to highlight the weekends festivities.

Bridging up to the pack after a surge for the prime sprint lap.
Being the first year of the festival, I expected fields to be minimal in the number of entrants and spectators.  Boy was I wrong!  The 3/4 field, although small in comparison to other races, had just shy of 40 entrants.  The support during the race was phenomenal, people lined the start/finish stretch along Main St.  The cheering was more than enough noise to down out the constant complaints from my legs enough for me to last through the entirety of the race.

The 0.85 mile loop went right through downtown Barre.
The course consisted of a 0.85 mile loop with three corners, one of them being more of a curve than a corner.  Competitors went counter-clockwise through the loop, crossing train tracks on two separate occasions each before or after a bridge section.  There were no causalities I was aware of during the race, however a few racers were dropped from the field during one of the many surges throughout the 60 minute race.  Eventually a two man break formed and stuck with about 17 laps to go.

The peleton is given a break through the tailwind assisted
straightaway. A brief rest before the bridges and headwind.
The two riders, one Onion River Racer and a VOX rider rode to claim the top steps of the podium while the rest of us fought it out for the remaining places.  I managed to finish is 16th, a respectable finish after being sick with a stomach bug for the week previous.  Overall, I am happy with how the race went, and I can't wait to race again next year.  Hopefully by then I will have built on the strength and tactics I have earned in order to gain a win.

Arc hard, ride fast, go plaid!

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