Tuesday: Kevins Crit or how I learned to love the eschelon draft.

With rain looming and the spring weather unpredictable by the minute, my goal was still to finish in the top 10. This was to be my first race for 2009. The first races of the season are always jittery and nerve racking. I'm always so excited I can't contain myself. </p>

<p>We get down to Calumet Park just as the women's race is starting and begin warming up. Just back and forth on the open drive to the boat dock and parking lot. I get caught up talking to everyone that I almost miss the men's start. I line up with a minute to spare and don't get the best position once the race is started. </p>

<p>From the get go the wind just starts shredding everyone to pieces. Riders are dropping back left and right as I fight my way to the front. I believe we do a few laps and it kinda gets hazy at this point, but I think my legs were stealing all the energy from my brain. All i remember is a group of riders maybe 4 getting a few second jump on me into the wind and just take off. I'm struggling as much as I can to close it but nothing, the wind is too much. </p>

<p>Somewhere around this point Kevin comes by and tells me to jump on but I'm almost completely burned out and having trouble holding his wheel and just yelled for him to go. At this point I was doing no good to him or myself if I still wanted to finish decently. I let the group of 5 behind me catch up and grabbed their draft. I'm not too worried about anyone behind us. I figure if we couldn't catch the lead riders, at this point, with this wind, no one would catch us either. I ride the last half of the race in their draft to recover for the last lap. </p>

<p>Thinking back on the race, I didn't need a powermeter to see where I used all my energy at, but I'm guessing I used more than 1/2 as much energy less in the second half than in the first. I remember coasting for some really good portions. </p>

<p> Around the time we came past the finish for the bell lap, we were a group of about 6 or 7 and Kevin told me to watch for Cutting Crew to make a jump something soon. I figured as much and around half way down the back stretch I jumped on Jeff Perkins attack at 30 mph took the last corner and sprinted for the line at 32.4 mph. In the blowing rain I averaged 22.7 for about 46 minutes.</p>

<p> It was a great opportunity to race and everyone was screaming for me and Kevin at every corner. It was cool to race with him. My engine is there but I'm not half the racer he is.   I'm glad we finished together, 8th and 10th. </p>

-Joe Schubert