Posted by: marissaridesbikes | March 26, 2012

Touchstone takes the WIN: Berkeley Streets Criterium

On Sunday, March 18th,  Touchstone Climbings’ Josie Morgan toed the line with just three other women on the worst weather weekend of the NorCal”winter.” Josie was thrilled to race in the Women’s 1/2/3 race as she had raced the same crit course when she was just learning to race as an undergrad at UC Berkeley.

Josie at Berkeley

Josie Morgan (Touchstone) on her way to winning the Berkeley Streets Criterium. Photo by Alex Chiu.

The course is a short, fast, and rectangular crit with the longer stretches on an uphill/downhill. Each lap takes maybe a minute, so forget about any relief between laps! Gaps form quickly, leaders lapping the field is common, and “pain cave” drool/regurgitation WILL find its way onto your face. The most challenging part of the course is the uphill, and the downhill you take AFAP (as fast as possible). The wind on this particular day made the course just slightly more challenging, with a cross/head on the downhill.

After sizing up the racers, Josie decided not to play it conservatively. First of all, with only three other racers, there wasn’t any place to hide in the tiny field. And would there really be much consequence for doing too much work out front by yourself? Not really.

Honey badger don’t care. Honey badger said to try it.

At the start, when Josie and another rider botched their clip-ins, the Metromint rider (Lina Martinsson) took notice that 50% of the field was cleat-impaired at the line and she attacked, achieving an immediate gap. Touchstone and the others worked to keep the gap steady. Eventually the Metromint rider was pulled in; she and the fourth racer in the group (named Grace) dropped off soon after, and it was just Josie and Kim Fong of Cycles Fanatic for the remaining 30-35 minutes.

After a couple surges for primes, Touchstone’s Josie realized she had a significant gap off the front! Eventually Josie lapped the first two riders, and then Kim from Cycles Fanatic. Three of the riders stayed together (Grace, Kim, and Josie) until the final lap where Josie took the win, with Kim Fong taking second, racer Grace in third, and Metromint’s Lina Martinsson in fourth. In addition to Josie’s win, she also took home three primes!

The last word: the Berkeley Crit course is definitely under-rated; its a fast course in a great setting, nestled into the edge of the Cal campus –We hope it returns next season!

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