Summer Racing Recap
1st Aug 2012Posted in: Blog 0
Summer Racing Recap

After wrapping up a successful rookie season, I turned my attention to staying fit for my first summer of crit racing. With a disappointing DNF in Monsters of the Midway, I set my sights on a triumphant return to Bloomington for Btown Crit on the 23rd of June. Knowing that I needed a tune up ride before heading to Bloomington, I traveled with the Godfather of Beta Cycling, Erik Kiser ‘10, to South Bend for a weekend of racing. After placing 7th in a competitive 3/4 field including several strong Little 5ers, I felt ready for Btown


After a 4-hour drive in my Jeep I finally arrived in beautiful Bloomington. I was so excited to be back in my college town, ready to race my bike, and enjoy a great night out with the guys. Since I’m not on a team outside of Beta (and I shredded my kit at Monsters of the Midway a few weeks earlier) I thought this would be a perfect occasion to sport the green Little 500 pole sitter jersey in the Cat 3/4 race. After a quick warm up ride down Cascades with my pledge brother, Matt Green ’13, I lined up at the start/finish line in front of my favorite establishment—Kilroy’s on Kirkwood. Total Rookie Move: it takes me 4 attempts to clip in and I quickly find myself near the back of the field. After settling in, it took me about 5 laps to move myself up to the front where I like to be.

The race was very technical with heavy braking—I was not using my power efficiently and got called out for some sketchy lines through the corners. I stayed up front, did my fair share of pulling, and did everything I could to keep the rubber side down. Eric Anderson ’13, was on the corner of 7th & Dunn and was always ready with words of encouragement which really helped me throughout the race. With 2 laps to go I found myself sitting 2nd wheel behind Phi Delt alum Steve Sharp ’12. After placing 3rd behind him and RJ Stuart in Miss N’ Out, I knew I wanted to follow his lead. In retrospect, I should have attacked with down Kirkwood, and held the lead north on Indiana because I got swarmed on the left just as we were preparing to turn left on 7th street. My hesitation put me at the back of a small group as we were rounding the remaining 4 or 5 corners. We opened up into a full sprint down Kirkwood where I ended up placing in the money at 8th. I had envisioned winning in Btown, but I was very happy to pick up a Scholar’s Inn envelope with my name on it, and even happier to place in the money with my brother Matt Green.

After a great meal at Uptown Café, thanks to the Green family, we headed back to watch the end of the 1/2/3 race where Anderson’s Racing for Riley teammate took the win. We celebrated appropriately at several local establishments before retiring around 4am. I love Bloomington.


Next on my racing calendar was Indy crit. I had heard great things about this race from past participants and was looking forward to speeding through the center of downtown Indianapolis. This was another chance for me to race alongside my partner in crime, Matt Green, which always makes for a fun time. We lined up at the start/finish in a 3/4 field comprised of 117 riders!!! I knew we were in for a wild ride around a winding 0.95 mile course.

Anderson, Green, and myself post-race

The race started as usual with a strong surge to the front, and I found myself somewhere in the middle of the pack just chilling. I was caught off guard by a sweeping left onto the cobblestone monument circle. “Where are we,” I thought to myself, “F@#$%*! Belgium!?!?” The most difficult part of the race for me was maintaining good positioning. Whenever I could, I would fight to move up only to lose my spot by being swarmed on both sides when we turned onto a wide 4-lane street. I heard several loud crashes behind me and kept my focus on staying upright for the remaining several laps. On the last lap, a guy directly in front of me came unclipped in a turn and I had to brake hard to avoid a collision. A dozen guys rushed past me on both sides and I knew I couldn’t make up for it with half a lap left. I tried to advance myself in the final straightaway and finished a lackluster 28th. Oh well, that’s bike racing. Overall, considering the size of the field, the numerous crashes, and bad luck towards the end, I was happy to make it out unscathed. A good race experience because I saw so many familiar faces and got to enjoy a few Sun King brews while watching our coach and defending Indy Crit champ, John Grant ‘03, in the Pro 1/2’s. Much like our team experience in Bloomington, Anderson, Green, and I headed out with Beta Cycling alum David Ong ’12 for a wild night in Broadripple.

Looking ahead, I plan to compete in the Tour of Elk Grove which is 30 minutes north of my house (a nice change of pace from the 3-4 hour drives I had made for other races this summer). I’m looking for a strong performance to cap off a fun and exciting summer of racing. After that, it’s back to Bloomington where I’m ready to put my fitness to the test against the local talent and take advantage of the great Fall weather and riding.

in _kai_
William C. Kragie

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