I’m a bit short of material at this time of year, when the juniors in our area have started racing on the road, but not on the track. I’m going to settle for junior track racers on the road today. The riders I mention by name are all active at the velodrome.
This event is the Tower District Criterium, held in Fresno, California. The course is very roughly the shape of Oklahoma, with the start/finish on the northern border and a 180 degree left turn at New Mexico. If you really know your geography, replace the Red River with a straight line and add some sweeping curves on the Arkansas side :). No hills, and just a bit of wind. Fresno is out in California’s central valley, but we were able to get there in under three hours, thanks to light traffic. Traffic is always light when you start a drive at 4 AM on a Sunday…
The first pictures are from the junior criterium. The field was fairly small, but it was an interesting race. It started pretty fast, but for a couple of laps in the middle the riders slowed down to a casual pace with no one willing to work. That ended with a solo attack which got good distance on the field before being chased by Daniel Holloway. Unfortunately that break ended when the rider reached the critical left U-Turn in the course and caught a pedal, crashing himself out of the race. The race grouped up again, the pace moderated, and the finish was a sprint.
Jim Ryan leads Daniel Holloway and the rest of the juniors through the U-Turn early in the junior race.
Juniors can be more stubborn than the older packs. Sometimes if no one wants to work, they all just coast.
The race was open to all juniors. These two rode well for their age, but didn't exactly figure in the overall results.
Daniel Holloway, left, winds up the winning sprint. All the top finishers are in this bunch - more names when they are posted.
Most of the juniors raced with their Elite categories later the same day. I only have pictures from the Cat 4/5 race. The U-turn was even more critical here, with a larger pack to string out and chase back together every lap. Some riders like the inside line (shorter distance, but you lose speed) and others like the outside. I think that the real difference was not a matter of efficiency but of where the most problems were.
Jim Ryan takes the inside line in a crowd.
Matt Mosby takes the smoother outside path.