We have a Tuesday night crit series here in the Dallas area that I've done 3 times now. It's pretty simple, basically just a .8 mile square, so the straight legs are maybe 400 meters each. The finish is in the middle of one of the legs, so about 200 meters (_very_ slightly up hill) after a 90 degree turn.
I race in the "C" race (Cat 5) and have finished in the upper half each time, but have yet to break into a top 10 finish. It seems that I just don't have the sprint that some of the other guys out there have. Last night I led coming around turn 4, with about 150 meters to go. I got up out of the saddle to start sprinting, but after just a few pedal strokes the other leaders started to come around me and I just couldn't give enough to hold the lead and ended up about 12 riders back. So what I'm thinking is that I'd like to try a different strategy next time since I obviously don't have the legs to hold off the pack in a field sprint.
I have almost no team representation in this race, because most of my teammates are Cat 4s, so I'm basically on my own. I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for how to mount a successful solo escape on the last 2 laps or so and see if I can make enough of a gap to hold off the pack until the finish.
My initial thoughts are that since there are really no long stretches of road that if I could create a bit of a gap coming up the "hill" (no more than 50 ft elevation change) to the finish line and then get into the 1st corner by myself with a lap or two to go that I could create a gap since the group always slows down a bit funnelling through the turns. Then I would be at an advantage for the next couple turns since I could choose my own line, etc.
Sorry this turned out to be such a long post. Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!