As we pointed out last week, Rob has been tasked with helping shape the career of Nicolai Brochner. And, well, it’s going pretty well. Last weekend Rob and Nicolai traveled down to the fantastic Indy Crit. Not to let the picture of Nicolai on the podium ruin the story, but here’s Rob’s account:
Indy Crit – July 14, 2012
Nicolai Brochner, Alex Vaughn-Ruiz and I headed down to Indianapolis for the Indy Crit last Saturday. We heard good things at the Geneva Superweek race and decided to check it out.
This is one great event! Large fields (ours was over 120 guys), loud spectators and all within the Midwesternly chic confines of downtown Indianapolis. The course is flat and with 7 turns including a little brick section that runs through a beautiful courtyard in the middle of the city. Other that having to occasionally bunnyhop manhole cover indentations there was nothing adverse about the course.
There were over 500 pre-registered bike racers alone, so all fields were pretty well stacked. Nuvo Bissel, Cleveland Chiropractic, Texas Roadhouse, etc. showed up in force for the Pro/1/2/3 race at 5:30 PM. You gotta love the big city evening crits! Though not able to do too much for Nicolai on race day during his inaugural US trip, my focus was in his result.
We were looking forward to a good result. The Danish missile delivered in typical fashion. Having missed the few small groups that ended up formulating one 16-man break with 30 minutes left in the race, Nicolai launched solo to bridge the gap. It did not take long before the now 17-man break had super fast sprinter in its’ midst. Two slipped off the front – both quality bike racers – and finished 1st and 2nd. Nicolai kept his never-lost-a-sprint in the US record intact and ripped off the winning effort from the rest of the group for 3rd overall. The podium was fun, champagne and all!
Nicolai had some tough luck at the biggest races we hit up. Running 5th position down the back stretch at Downer Ave in a fully stacked pro field, a sure bet for the field sprint win and after already taking a prime, he hit the deck at 40 mph having come down on top of the two guys in front of him that inexplicably crashed each other. Madison was even worse because in addition to easily picking up a prime against some of the best pro sprinters in the country Nicolai was casually working his way up the field for the final sprint and BAM! It was as if someone had thrown a grenade in the middle of the field. You couldn’t help to think that the win was a strong possibility since the field came together at the end. Chainring in the shin, a little more equipment carnage but it could have been worse.
The rough start made these past two weeks of racing especially nice for us. All in all we found that Nicolai will have no problem keeping up with the best domestic pros the US has to offer. He also came out with a win, 3rd and 7th and caught a good sized turtle in the Wisconsin river. And as mentioned above, never lost a sprint.
Nicolai will be headed back to Denmark in a few days, and we’ll be sad to see him go!