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Old 07-12-17, 12:23 PM   #776
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SJBC training crit last night - rode 20 miles to and from the 34 mile crit. 2 mile loops, small 30" hill each lap. Windy af.

This one guy who's been smashing it lately showed up with something like 20 team mates (which is crazy because the field is usually 20 total). All with Specialized kits bc they work there I guess. Didn't know who's who, but I knew he was the guy to follow, so I did.

He attacked and I was already on his wheel. I decided not to pull at all, because a) I figured he'd pull me around anyway, which he did and b) I didn't mind a field sprint.

One other guy bridged up (not on his team) so the two of them took pulls with me sitting on. I went for a prime (which pissed off the main dude, obvs!), lost it, and on top of that started cramping after that. I never cramp! But here I was cramping for the last 10-12 miles of this race..

Eventually a teammate of the strong dude bridged up, and we were four. On a normal day I would've had a shot a the W, which would have been nice because they had like 30 more Specialized-related people watching the race, which is about 25 more than usual. Would've been nice to "stick it to them," even after just sitting on the whole time, but alas I could barely sprint and they won. Oh well, good training.

The 20 miles home (in to the headwind) really sucked, I regretted riding down!
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Old 07-12-17, 10:46 PM   #777
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SJBC training crit last night - rode 20 miles to and from the 34 mile crit. 2 mile loops, small 30" hill each lap. Windy af.

This one guy who's been smashing it lately showed up with something like 20 team mates (which is crazy because the field is usually 20 total). All with Specialized kits bc they work there I guess. Didn't know who's who, but I knew he was the guy to follow, so I did.

He attacked and I was already on his wheel. I decided not to pull at all, because a) I figured he'd pull me around anyway, which he did and b) I didn't mind a field sprint.

One other guy bridged up (not on his team) so the two of them took pulls with me sitting on. I went for a prime (which pissed off the main dude, obvs!), lost it, and on top of that started cramping after that. I never cramp! But here I was cramping for the last 10-12 miles of this race..

Eventually a teammate of the strong dude bridged up, and we were four. On a normal day I would've had a shot a the W, which would have been nice because they had like 30 more Specialized-related people watching the race, which is about 25 more than usual. Would've been nice to "stick it to them," even after just sitting on the whole time, but alas I could barely sprint and they won. Oh well, good training.

The 20 miles home (in to the headwind) really sucked, I regretted riding down!
Well on bright side most of their riders got dropped from what remained of the field, my teammate got field sprint, and then there were Tacos!!!!
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Old 07-13-17, 06:58 AM   #778
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Did a local training crit last night.

I tried going with a couple breaks with little success. (The breaks were successful. I was not. Have I mentioned I'm not much of a break rider?)

I took the cash prime. Probably went harder than I needed, and my legs turned to rubber. It also was ridiculously hot out there. I ended up finishing down a lap on the field. Two on the break. But I came out with cash.

There were a few people taking pics along the race. I made sure to ham it up for the camera each time. My wife texted me a nice pic this morning of everyone suffering and me looking at the camera with a big, goofy smile on my face.

Sadly, I forgot to switch my computer over to this bike, so I did not get power data. Not sure what I was thinking there. Probably the heat.
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Old 07-13-17, 07:40 AM   #779
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Would've been nice to "stick it to them," even after just sitting on the whole time, but alas I could barely sprint and they won. Oh well, good training.
That's what I was thinking too as I was reading your post. Screw those guys! .
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Old 07-15-17, 04:10 PM   #780
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Ophir Road Race. Cat 3/4. 68 miles with 3 canyon climbs. 4800 feet of elevation, all in three major climbs. 5th out of 12?

Race started out with a downhill false flat that was not apparent on the race flier as being there. Fast for the first set of miles, when it leveled off, a guy attacked at about 10 miles in. Nobody paniced except the one junior in the field who went to the front and started pulling. Good kid, but he was working way too hard for that point in the race, knowing there is still a lot of climbing to do.

Hit the first climb (20 minutes or so) and the only team (z5 sports) in the field started "attacking" which was more like accelerations. Tried to stay as smooth as possible and never really top out too much on the power. Came over the top in 3rd wheel, most of the group still together. Attacked the last 100m of the climb, grabbed a bottle, drank a ton and then poured the rest over me and chucked it. Fastest descent of the day, tucked most of the way. Hit the bottom and my computers said to turn one way and the signs said something different. Freaked ab it and the roup came past me so I just follwoed. Looking around I realized my descent had pulled the group in two, which felt good considering I'm usually a pretty weak descender.

Through the flat in the valley was easy work, the group all but came back together, I think we shed one or two people. Hit a really ****ty section of road so we rode that real easy. Actually the whole group stopped for a pee break when the masters field caught us, which was super nice.

Going into the second climb of the day (which was the backside of the first climb) the team again put one of their members on the front and he shredded the pack. I was holding on for dear life and made it over the top with a group of 5. I think the climber was the only one that was fresh and he had pulled the whole climb. The group worked very well together on the flats to guarantee we would stay away. Came up on the false flat and we got slow, and it got hard, but no one dropped.

Final climb was 3 miles, about 800 feet of never steady, very steep at the end. z5 teammate that hadn't pulled attacked with about 4k to go and I didn't panic because I thought it was too early. 4 others chased with his teammate wheel sucking. Leader kept growing the gap and I got to a bad place. Legs weren't having it. At about 1k to go I gave up the ghost and granny geared it home.

Temps at the end of the race were reaching the high 90's. i'm getting closer to be acclimatized but it's a work in progress.

Dissapointed to take last out of the group, but overall was very happy with where my fitness was. Can climb with some of the better 3s in the state and my descending was up to snuff. Did the best I could, played it tactically correct except I probably should have taken it a bit easier in the false flat/ headwind section. Just a fitness thing and better heat management.
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Old 07-15-17, 09:17 PM   #781
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Sounds like a tough race where I wouldn't last.

I did CCCX Ft Ord Circuit Race. Skipped the 2/3 race so as not to wake up at 7:30 and to be fresher than many in the 1/2/3 field. 19 of us, mostly cat 2. We had 5 in the race, me and one other fresh. Another team also had 5. A couple teams had 2.

I was feeling good about being fresh and wary of a repeat of a couple weeks ago when most of the 2nd race dudes got dropped. So I rode aggressively, following whenever someone covered an attack, trying to close gaps.

2 of 6 laps in I realize I'm doing too much work when, after covering some hard moves riding 30mph on a false flat tailwind, we hit the minute start finish climb and I crack. Luckily most everyone else cracked and eased up at the top and I spent a couple laps recovering. Anyway I have a teammate up the road with a guy from the other big team and the vegan cyclist. All that covering wasn't for naught.

Last lap we catch and drop vegan cyclist over the rollers. Only 2 up the road now. I contemplate attacking the rollers but when I hit the front one of the other big team also hits the front and grins at me. Lol.

So I lead down the final 44 mph descent. Big guy on big passes me and I chase, look back, gap but another big team guy is bridging up and I'm getting tired. Sure enough the other guy goes through and attacks, gets a gap at the final turn to the false flat tailwind section.

Group together, lookin at each other. Now that guy is gonna get 3rd if no one acts. One guy jumps, I follow, we get a small gap. Big team dude chasing to cover our move. When he catches I counter and start goin all out. Big team drops back but the last guy willing to chase, from one of the 2 man teams leads it out only a few seconds behind me. Too late for me, I already committed. So I hold the gap to the final climb and everyone sprints around.

Fun race overall, teammate got 2nd. But I seem to have left my legs at home cuz I was hurting waaay too much for a sub threshold NP. Probably should have taken it easier on the first couple laps though.
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Old 07-16-17, 07:30 AM   #782
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Castelli Prospect Park (Brooklyn) series 40+, 19th of 110.

Is the city park race a unique NYC area phenomenon? Prospect Park, Central Park, Branchbrook are all 7-12 minute park loops with twists and turns and small hills but few real corners, races are at dawn because you can't close down a big city park, race fields are huge. Races are usually an odd length, around 1.5 hours, short enough to be near crit intensity but too long to be wire to wire smashfests. These races always sell out or close to it. Between park races and weeknight crits, the race scene is thriving. It's the weekend destination races that are struggling.

Anyway this is a summer-long series, I've never done it, everyone says it's fun, and gsteinb is one point out of the leader jersey and doesn't have any real teammates so I thought I'd go try to help him out.

There's a ritual to these races, getting up at 3am, timing coffee intake and a bathroom stop, finding city street parking, picking up your number in the dark, pinning it on and getting dressed in your parked car as the sun comes up, minimal warm up because you didn't want to get up any earlier than you had to, a few random civilians wandering around at dawn usually because they are just coming home from partying all night and they think it's a hoot that hundreds of guys are about to race their bikes.

At the line I chatted with gsteinb about how the races usually go, and located the yellow jersey guy and the 3rd place guy to keep an eye on.

The race was fast and fun and the first couple of laps in a park race are always an adventure because nobody really knows what's going to be on the course (in this case there was an orange-coned-off giant puddle at the bottom of a hill to contend with), and if the course is unfamiliar the laps are too long to get an immediate familiarity with. I like racing in huge fields too, somehow it's mentally easier to stay near the front of 100+ guys than 30 guys, because you know that if you get shuffled back you'll be 10 seconds away from the front of the race.

There's a green jersey and spotted jersey competition and about a half hour in, a group of ~10 got a small gap after a green jersey sprint. I wasn't worried about them at all, I knew one or two strong guys were in there but not too many, and all of the overall contenders were in the pack, and 10 guys is a big enough break that it might fall apart of its own weight. But they dangled ~5 seconds ahead for a long time.

When the gap started to grow, gsteinb put in a long dig to bring it back to where I could have pulled in it the rest of the way but I didn't bother because all the overall contenders were with us. As soon as he let up the gap went back out. He worked his way over to me and explained that with 10 guys up the road, there were no series points left for the pack so it helped the series leader -- I dumbly hadn't been thinking in those terms. And all the teams had somebody in the break.

For the rest of the race I traded pulls with another gsteinb ally but the break stayed out of sight until the last time up the ~1 minute hill, where they looked to be maybe 10+ seconds up, close enough that I feel like a mighty suicidal effort could have gotten them. I wish I had done that, but I didn't. gsteinb beat the series leader in the field sprint but didn't pick up any points, I finished respectably but it would have been a more satisfying outcome if I had buried myself to bring back the break and finished last.

Overall though I'll definitely do the Brooklyn park race again, though maybe not in the rain -- the spray is just deadly toxic between the road chemicals, dog crap, rat poison and god knows what else. But the race is awesome and the scene is really cool.
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Old 07-16-17, 08:43 AM   #783
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GC is a better writer than all of us.

Capital Region RR P/1/2. Punchy AF course with back to back to back (to back!) high gradient climbs, 20 mile laps, 3 mi neutral roll out, 4 laps for 83 total miles. https://www.strava.com/segments/727847 Teammate made the early 4 man most teams represented all day breakaway, so dnuzz spent all day at the front (seriously, it was insane to watch), first doing duty interrupting chases, and then once our teammate popped from the break with ~7 miles to go bringing the breakaway back almost single-handedly. As for me, I had bad legs and just barely hung on over the final climbs (I think I cracked 4 separate times over 5-6k?!) and did what I could to rest up for the finish so I could sprint and try to finish off the work the teammates put in. But...I am a sprint wuss and gave up positions til I was at the back of the pack, and finished accordingly. I rolled in at the back of what was left of the bunch, for 12th.

It is frustrating to give up a better placing due to being uncomfortable with contesting in a bunch after getting to the finish. It's one thing to get dropped after giving it your all, but it is dumb and disappointing to underperform due to skill, and it is something I'll be putting work into with mid week crits and such for now on.

Been feeling the body needs rest buzzing and fatigue stuff so I'm doing a rest period.

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Old 07-16-17, 11:40 AM   #784
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There's a ritual to these races, getting up at 3am, timing coffee intake and a bathroom stop, finding city street parking, picking up your number in the dark, pinning it on and getting dressed in your parked car as the sun comes up, minimal warm up because you didn't want to get up any earlier than you had to, a few random civilians wandering around at dawn usually because they are just coming home from partying all night and they think it's a hoot that hundreds of guys are about to race their bikes.
As far as I know that's an NYC-only thing, but does sound cool!

Nice racing.
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Old 07-16-17, 11:41 AM   #785
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Fun race overall, teammate got 2nd. But I seem to have left my legs at home cuz I was hurting waaay too much for a sub threshold NP. Probably should have taken it easier on the first couple laps though.
If I was your coach, we'd take a hard look at your training schedule. (that's my guess as to why you were tired)
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Old 07-16-17, 11:49 AM   #786
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Did the inaugural Lakeport crit yesterday, p1/2. Got 4th.

This was a big-money race, $1500 for the top six. Far away from everyone, so only 26 showed up.

I lapped the field, but the winner lapped them twice. I felt bad for the judges, this was a tough one to sort out I'm sure (and they got it wrong at first).

Interesting ~1k course with a small (but kinda steep at the top) hill, four corners, and a one-lane squeeze from turn three to turn four.

We had to do a "parade" lap to start, following a Mad Max-style dune buggy. I mean wtf. At least nobody crashed during the "parade"/neutral lap, that's mostly what I was afraid of.

A few laps in a $50 prime lap comes up, and the heavy hitters go for it. I should have known they were going to keep going after the prime, and they did. I hesitated a little too long when trying to bridge, but at least got two others to come up to me. The three of us chased for like 30 minutes (75 min race), dropping one and finally catching "the pack," which was like 10 guys at that point.

I was confused bc I thought the five or six were up the road, but my teammate helpfully told me I was going for 4th, since some of the break guys were in 'the pack' now.

I won the 'field sprint' for 4th, beating both of my breakmates. Railed the penultimate corner (that had a downhill going in to it) so hard I had a "oh **** am I gonna crash?!" moment, but I kept my cool and all was well. Will make for a decent video.

$175 for my efforts, the winner got $500. Even though it was like a 3.5 hour drive and I got home at 12 AM, it was totally worth it!
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Old 07-16-17, 06:16 PM   #787
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Nice racing @mattm!
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Old 07-16-17, 11:45 PM   #788
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Thanks @TMonk!

Today was even better. Won from the break at Colavita GP p/1/2.

75 minute race, roughly 60 minute breakaway. Went with a guy that beat me yesterday, who's been strong this season. Luckily one more guy bridged to us after 10 minutes or so, which was great because I was having doubts about a long break with just two people in the wind. (the course is flat and windy)

We took turns on the primes - so much so that it was comedic at a few points; we argued about whose turn it was. Not "it's mine turn," but more like "it's your turn." Usually it's the other way around lol. But we pretty much evenly split them and kept the pace steady.

The games didn't start until the last lap - our gap was a minute or so by that point, so we slowed down to like 10 mph, before the attacks begun. The guy I had marked has a good sprint, but he went too early and basically led me out.

$120 for my troubles, plus some pasta, balsamic vinegar, two gift cards to a bike shop I'll probably never go to, and a gift card to a restaurant I'll probably never go to.
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Old 07-17-17, 03:03 AM   #789
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Way to go, Matt!
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Old 07-17-17, 05:57 AM   #790
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$120 for my troubles, plus some pasta, balsamic vinegar, two gift cards to a bike shop I'll probably never go to, and a gift card to a restaurant I'll probably never go to.
Nice job.

And you should figure out a way to go to the shop and restaurant, if only to thank them for contributing to the race.
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Old 07-17-17, 06:03 AM   #791
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Nice Job Matt! I really wish I had your crit racing aptitude TBH. I am a breakaway guy but I need to get my sprint game up to snuff. It has taken me until now (5 years in) to finally understand how to just see red and crank your legs at the end of a race. I still need to work on not doing too much work in a break.
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Old 07-17-17, 07:00 AM   #792
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Dang mattm crushing it. Save some wins for the rest of us!
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Old 07-17-17, 10:17 AM   #793
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Well I did the opposite and lost yesterday, twice, so you're welcome

San Diego Master's games E3: last

My job was to get in a break with a teammate. We tried, a few times, but got reeled in each time. A teammate countered after the third time and lured a second teammate and another rider, who stayed away, and lapped the field at that. My team was over half the field and I knew we wouldn't catch the three up the road, so I took some hard pulls anyway, but no one else wanted to work. It became apparent to me that I was the strongest left in the field so I went super hard for a prime at 5 to go, got it, and held it solo (0.7 mi laps) until the back stretch on the last lap.

P/1/2/3: I lasted about 16 minutes, just didn't feel good. Two teammates finished the race. It was objectively difficult as the entire field split in 2 about 1/3 through the race. It was fun to watch. State champ Tyler Locke grabbed the win, and a teammate in the front selection got third.
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Old 07-17-17, 02:44 PM   #794
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P/1/2/3: I lasted about 16 minutes, just didn't feel good. Two teammates finished the race. It was objectively difficult as the entire field split in 2 about 1/3 through the race. It was fun to watch. State champ Tyler Locke grabbed the win, and a teammate in the front selection got third.
I thought he got second! That was a tough race for sure. I was trying to mark Tyler and others and spent most of my energy in the first 15 mins just trying to keep things glued together, then I had to sit in and couldn't do much after the break went. The resulting 'chase' from the field was full of confusion. Wasn't sure if we should try to reel it back, just keep the pace high to keep from getting lapped, or allow the lap to happen and help our guy when it does. One of our guys told me to keep the pace high, but when I tried, some of the others would just let me roll off the front. Did that a couple times and was told next time to just keep going. Sure enough, I do, and someone ends up chasing me after a lap or so off the front. Wasn't really sure how many more guys were up the road and how many were off the back, but we were maybe 10 guys after starting with 25 so I didn't think there were any places up the road, but apparently it was only 5 guys away so I could have tried to go for 6th (which I think was still in the money)
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Old 07-17-17, 02:46 PM   #795
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Nice job @mattm! Gotta post the video
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Old 07-17-17, 02:52 PM   #796
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I thought he got second! That was a tough race for sure. I was trying to mark Tyler and others and spent most of my energy in the first 15 mins just trying to keep things glued together, then I had to sit in and couldn't do much after the break went. The resulting 'chase' from the field was full of confusion. Wasn't sure if we should try to reel it back, just keep the pace high to keep from getting lapped, or allow the lap to happen and help our guy when it does. One of our guys told me to keep the pace high, but when I tried, some of the others would just let me roll off the front. Did that a couple times and was told next time to just keep going. Sure enough, I do, and someone ends up chasing me after a lap or so off the front. Wasn't really sure how many more guys were up the road and how many were off the back, but we were maybe 10 guys after starting with 25 so I didn't think there were any places up the road, but apparently it was only 5 guys away so I could have tried to go for 6th (which I think was still in the money)
Even just watching you guys was a bit confusing
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Old 07-17-17, 04:46 PM   #797
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Nice Job Matt! I really wish I had your crit racing aptitude TBH. I am a breakaway guy but I need to get my sprint game up to snuff. It has taken me until now (5 years in) to finally understand how to just see red and crank your legs at the end of a race. I still need to work on not doing too much work in a break.
Thanks man. I wish I had your ftp. =]

I definitely have no problem being lazy at the end in order to save energy. The tricky part is not pissing off your breakmates/being too obvious about it, so they don't attack you early.
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Old 07-18-17, 02:22 AM   #798
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Nice job @mattm! Gotta post the video
Thx!

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Old 07-18-17, 08:33 AM   #799
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It is frustrating to give up a better placing due to being uncomfortable with contesting in a bunch after getting to the finish. It's one thing to get dropped after giving it your all, but it is dumb and disappointing to underperform due to skill, and it is something I'll be putting work into with mid week crits and such for now on.
That's basically been me all season, specially last weekend.
Did masters 35+ 3/4 mostly a group ride punctuated by me trying and failing to get prims. Got swamped at the end, top 10.
Then did 2/3. We dropped what seemed like half the field. Last 4 laps wind picked up, and with my 81mm front bike in some sections was very hard to control. The field was super sketchy, so just rolled in behind what remained, and avoided third crash of the race. Over all like 20 something, and in 3s top ten. We were scored separately.
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Old 07-18-17, 09:47 AM   #800
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
That's basically been me all season, specially last weekend.
Did masters 35+ 3/4 mostly a group ride punctuated by me trying and failing to get prims. Got swamped at the end, top 10.
Then did 2/3. We dropped what seemed like half the field. Last 4 laps wind picked up, and with my 81mm front bike in some sections was very hard to control. The field was super sketchy, so just rolled in behind what remained, and avoided third crash of the race. Over all like 20 something, and in 3s top ten. We were scored separately.
Yeah, this one wasn't sketchy at all though, I am just a wuss. The last field sprint I intentionally took part in was one of the 2015 Bethels, and there was a crash 2 riders ahead of me (@carpediemracing almost went right into it but avoided going down). I swerved in time, but bounced into another rider, and we barely kept upright by leaning into each other.

A couple of months later I was in a field sprint crash while I was drifting to the back of the field. Endoed and took a header right into a pile of juniors! Their squishy still forming bones probably saved me from worse injury, but my neck was really ****ed up, like I had trouble turning my head left for months and sleeping was painful for the rest of the year.

So, I don't like field sprints. But I do need to learn to deal with them, at least out of smallish groups.
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