Naval Yard Criterium 04/06/2013 - By Tim Manzella

The TSV Naval Yard Criterium was back for 2013 with a different course, still a six turn criterium specialist course, but mirror image of the previous year. It was windy like always in the Naval Yard, but by the time the P/1/2 race happened a little after 4pm it was sunny and warm out. This year they made it a P/1/2 race instead of a P/1/2/3 which meant a smaller field, which is probably better for this course. Dave, Keith, Nick, and I all started the race.

There were a little over 30 starters with a couple of local heavy hitters coming out for the race. A break formed almost immediately after the start of the race, but it took awhile for the break to get free from the field. There was a crash on the home straight away the first lap when a racer from Alliance tried to jump with an attack and when he shifted his bike the rear derailleur sheared off cause him to crash and skid along side the field for a good 20 feet or so. Luckily, everyone else get around him and he was also okay. They dangled out in front by only a couple of seconds for about 10 laps before the rope snapped and the right people get into the break to power it away.

Dave ended up in the break from the very beginning and was eventually joined by 10 other riders. Since the break was on the larger size, I jumped into a small group trying to bridge up to the break so that there would be two TSV riders in the break, but we ended up getting chased down. With all of the teams with multiply riders having someone in the break and all the heavy hitters in the break, the field rolled around with some attacks happening every lap or so. Keith and I kept our eyes on the attacks to make sure no one important got away. After talking with the other teams in the field, we kept the pace a the lighter side to allow the break to lap the field so that we could help our teammates out in a sprint against the riders that didn't have any teammates. The field had been whittled down to 11 racers by the half way point in the 35 mile race and with the 11 racers in break, there were only 22 total racers left on course since the officials pulled anyone getting dropped. The nice thing about the course is that there are points that you can see across the course to see the progress of the break compared to the field, and with about a dozen laps left you could tell the break would be able to catch. But then with 10 to go, the field was given a bell to finish on the next lap, so with Keith fresher from sitting in the field for the most part, he went for the 12th place sprint and ended up pulling out a 15th place, while I rolled in at the back. Dave ended up getting 7th out of the breakaway to secure a top 10 for the team. We all enjoyed Lil Dan's sandwiches throughout the day.