Hopefully by now everyone has recovered from a successful St. Patty’s day weekend. This year my weekend included a trip down to check out the 2012 Land Park Criterium where Curt was racing in BP colors.
I’ve only been to this course a few times, but it always seems to be a popular race. The venue is easy to admire as it’s noticeably both more technical and scenic than the likes your standard business park race course. Uniquely, the LP crit inserts character into the race as it wraps the manicured greens and lush fairways of the Land Park Golf Course, established in 1924. Tall, mature trees frame the course. Historic homes and mansions line the outside. More importantly for racers, the course offers a wide well-paved path that incorporates both high speeds and technical turns to help make the selection.
Turn by Turn
Directly following the start line, racers have moment to warm up their legs and begin tempo before bending around the first turn. This initial bend is gentle and immediately sweeps into a long arch, the perfect opportunity for the ambitious to string out the the peloton or for a couple of riders to begin an escape. However, this comes to an abrupt end as an acute angle breaks this lovely line and sweeps it quickly into a S-turn. Experienced riders can be found at the head of the pack while the less savvy quickly realize that things are about to get interesting. As the peloton funnels through this turn, acceleration is immediate and the need to break those further back is a must. Completing the section wraps racers around the far end of an island, anchored by tall sycamore and oak. As the riders pour out the far side, the pack is stretched further into a short straight which gives way into an 80 degree bend. Leaning their frames tight on the inside, riders carve out any real estate they can to propel themselves into the final straight away. The final stretch is just that, a long sprawling avenue to build up speed and eventually sprint to the line. Depending on the lap, things can get pretty hairy out there.
This year we were out to watch the men’s Cat 4 and cheer on our buddy Curt as he raced with a healthy group of BP riders. Throughout the race they looked strong. And while there were many lead changes throughout the laps, we saw them dictate much of the pace. Ultimately, they were able to take the victory on the final lap, delivering Patrick Callan to a successful sprint finish and a taste of weekend glory. Curt took 6th after leading out with his team in the final showdown and we all got a moment to relive it as we enjoyed the following races.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the gallery below for a better look at the ride.