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Old 03-12-17, 08:32 AM   #126
wktmeow
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Land Park Pro 1/2 - got 8th, team mates got 5th & 6th..
Nice job, especially considering how much you've been riding the past few weeks!
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Old 03-12-17, 09:26 AM   #127
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Nice job, especially considering how much you've been riding the past few weeks!
thanks - it is surprising that with 6 or less hours a week I can still hang. probably says more about the base I've done in the past and this season.

my vid from yesterday:
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Old 03-12-17, 05:26 PM   #128
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Bariani 45+

Again, had no expectations other than just trying not to get dropped, but I felt surprisingly good. On the 2d lap I even took a flyer on the false flat section. Didn't get far, but it was fun while it lasted. On the 3d lap, I got in a small break of 4 on the crosswind section, but we did not have enough and we were caught before the farm road.

On the 4th and final lap, a group of 6 or 7 got away, we had no one in it, and I thought crap, that's it. But they never got out of sight and the pack chased through the roller section and caught it at the final turn, about 2.5km to go. Amazingly, I didn't get dropped and managed to work myself up along the fog line (out of the wind, but I knew I was taking a chance with the sketchy pavement. I got to the last turn probably 20th and then there was a crash right in front of me with about 1k to go. Somehow managed to avoid that and rode in with the front group, probably 12th. Which is not too shabby for me, especially since I have been doubting my fitness coming into this weekend.
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Old 03-12-17, 05:40 PM   #129
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Tour de Murrieta E3 - TT - Totally underpaced it somehow. Should have had an NP display on my Garmin. I went hard on the rollers and it threw me off, plus I put out less in the dirt I think. Anyway, power was the same as at Valley of the Sun, even though this one was 1/3 the length. 5/17

Crit - Nothing interesting. Felt nervous in the pack and through the corners, hence the other thread. Tried a couple of attacks, nothing stuck, everything brought back fairly quickly. Teammate crashed, got back in and got 7th.

Circuit Race - Attacked pretty early on and a couple guys joined shortly after. Was in the break for over an hour, caught at 2 laps to go. Exhausted. Note to self: bigger guys are typically stronger than me in a break. Did as much work towards it as I could, but the other guy with me was taking bigger pulls. Third guy looked like a climber type and couldn't contribute too much. Two more guys ended up bridging and they were pulling hard too, but we still got brought back. Tried to help our guys position for the sprint but it was a bit dicey, not much in the way of results still.

We won the team competition, but I think we're the only team that did all 3 days with 4+ riders.
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Old 03-12-17, 06:01 PM   #130
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Grant's Tomb 40+, conditions... temp in the low 20s, wind 25 mph off the river but higher down the canyons on the back stretch.
Was hoping you would post a race report beyond the expletive laced reaction. Nice piece of suffering.
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Old 03-13-17, 12:25 AM   #131
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I have been having a great year so far! For reference I am a a 212 pound Cat 5..
Race 1 - Hawai'i Epilepsy 50KM - 1st Place Overall
Race 2 - Makaha Time Trial (Season's 1st Official Race) - 3rd Overall, 1st in Division
Race 3 - (TODAY, MARCH 12) Pineapple Hill Sprint, Oahu - 15th Overall, 1st in Division ( I was 6th overall at 500m to go and I ran off the road into the grass...... don't ask. noob mistake of being too concerned with what was behind me.)


Looking to lose the weight and become a real overall contender here in Hawaii despite my Cat 5 status. I outweigh some of these guys by 70 pounds, so I think I have room for improvement!!
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Old 03-13-17, 03:02 AM   #132
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Rotterdam Cycling Club - RWC Ahoy - Saturday Training Race/Crit

After a pretty long hiatus from racing (due to time investment in other sports, study and work) I've decided to get back to racing.
I lurk these forums quite frequently and they really motivated me to get back at it, so thank you guys for that!

February
(B-grade: 60 minutes + 5 laps) - DNF
Being out of the loop for over a year, I decided to try myself again mid-february. After the first nerves of riding in a fast peloton of about 50-60 riders (B-grade), it went pretty well. I was able to stay at the front for a large portion of the race. To be honest the race was mostly a blur to me, I noticed a few breaks of the front but had no real idea how the race evolved, I just tried to stay at the front.
Until after 35 minutes I drifted a little too far back and gap opened up a few place in front of me. So me and 8 other riders had to work together to get back to main group.
That is where I made the mistake to take my turn on the front way to hard and long for myself, as soon as I rolled of the front I was done and dusted. I did a few solo laps to warm down, and pulled out to watch the sprint-finish. All in all not to shabby for an early-season opener after only riding indoors for the last 3 months and not racing for over a year.
I did get ill soon after, so maybe I asserted myself to much, but also it was very cold 1 degree C.

Last saturday
(B-grade again 60min + 5 laps, ~60 riders) Finished 20th place
So after being ill for a week and going on winter-vacation snowboarding in the Swiss Alps I was fully recovered and eager to go at it again.
The start went well and I was pleasantly surprised how well I was able to hold my position close to the front. After a few fruitless solo-attempts in the first 15 minutes, there were no real moves for min 15-30 and tempo was solid but not extremely hard.
At halfway point a group of 5 break free and the pace picked up really hard in the peloton. I never put in anything, as my goal was to survive and not to blow myself up at the front like last time - there were some shouts whenever I immediately pulled of the front, but I had a plan .
After maybe 10 minutes it was all back together and the pace dropped significantly allowing everyone to catch their breath to prepare for the final 15 minutes. I was feeling fresh and was thinking about changing my plan to competing the sprint.
But alas, the last 10 minutes were very nervous and I was not paying enough attention and was slowly drifting back. In the second to last lap I was able to move back to the front, but in the last lap again I drifted back to maybe 20th place in the group. No real reason to sprint anymore, and also I somehow unclipped out of my pedal after the last hairpin so I let it roll.
Conclusion: very happy to be back racing and I feel if the race unfolds similar next time I might be able to play a more active role.

Below an overview of the purpose-built circuit and my data-numbers.


And including warm-up and an extra hour riding with my girlfriend to warm down my numbers for the day:
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Old 03-13-17, 03:26 PM   #133
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Tour de Murrieta E3 - TT - Totally underpaced it somehow. Should have had an NP display on my Garmin. I went hard on the rollers and it threw me off, plus I put out less in the dirt I think. Anyway, power was the same as at Valley of the Sun, even though this one was 1/3 the length. 5/17

Crit - Nothing interesting. Felt nervous in the pack and through the corners, hence the other thread. Tried a couple of attacks, nothing stuck, everything brought back fairly quickly. Teammate crashed, got back in and got 7th.

Circuit Race - Attacked pretty early on and a couple guys joined shortly after. Was in the break for over an hour, caught at 2 laps to go. Exhausted. Note to self: bigger guys are typically stronger than me in a break. Did as much work towards it as I could, but the other guy with me was taking bigger pulls. Third guy looked like a climber type and couldn't contribute too much. Two more guys ended up bridging and they were pulling hard too, but we still got brought back. Tried to help our guys position for the sprint but it was a bit dicey, not much in the way of results still.

We won the team competition, but I think we're the only team that did all 3 days with 4+ riders.
Nice! I was there too. I loved that TT :-)
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Old 03-14-17, 03:43 PM   #134
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First weekend of collegiate racing in the cat a field. Boy is it a different animal. Big variance of talent between the hitters and the rest of us.
glad to see you are having fun.
I raced for the huskies a few years ago and had a ton of fun - keep your head up, those A races are legit.

I looked over the roster, and I think I'm one year removed from knowing anyone, but I know a few of the guys now in grad school racing at other schools.
Hope your year goes well!
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Old 03-14-17, 05:05 PM   #135
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glad to see you are having fun.
I raced for the huskies a few years ago and had a ton of fun - keep your head up, those A races are legit.

I looked over the roster, and I think I'm one year removed from knowing anyone, but I know a few of the guys now in grad school racing at other schools.
Hope your year goes well!
2nd week went much better. UO changed there Road race course to the old Gimple hill / Bailey hill course that as used in OBRA for a long time. If you are from right before my time with the club, we actually stayed with the parents of one of your old teammates (last name Shepherd). Got popped with two laps to go in the road race, but the field was goign all kinds of crazy trying to chase back a 2 man UO break that we lets slip away.

Sunday was spent working team duty because one of our dudes is currently sitting second for the overall jersey. Pulled the last few laps HARD to ensure nothing would get away then sat up for a messy sprint. He didn't end up getting the place he needed to move up but maintained second place.

Race this weekend is up in Bellingham. Another climby course with few opportunities for a break to get away. But if it does it will probably stick.
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Old 03-18-17, 04:14 PM   #136
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Lake Elizabeth RR - Duhhropped! Seem to have some trouble with surge-climbing. 20 min power was a good bit less than I've done before, but spit out the back on the 2nd time up regardless. Finished my laps as training. Headwind up the climb solo sucked real bad. Avg speed was only a little lower than the pack too, sigh. Think I finished like 7 minutes behind?

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Old 03-19-17, 02:55 AM   #137
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Gifford 3/4 RR (Gifford UK)

5 laps of an 8 mile loop. First race of the season. The US equivalent would be a 2/3/4/5 field. There is not a UK cat 5 field and 2s have to maintain a certain number of points (25) each year, or they drop back to 3, so the field has plenty of guys who would be 2s in the US. It makes for some really interesting races where you have juniors mixed with wily old vets.

The race is put on by my team and we had 8 guys in the field. We'd decided before the race to police the front and animate the race. The thought was to put our guy (who was just a 2 last year) in a late move.

I was OTF for a lap and had a few other digs. With 2 to go our guy countered an attack of mine and got away with one other. Two teammates and I did a really good job of frustrating the chase and sitting on moves and the 2 up front stayed away. Teammate got 2nd out the break. I took 2nd in the field sprint (4th overall). Figured I'd earned it working for the team and road for myself in the final.

Takeaway for me was positioning, positioning, positioning. I've been at this stupid sport for a while now and I still consistently waste too much energy getting accordion'd. I focused on that yesterday and had a much more efficient ride.
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Old 03-19-17, 06:28 AM   #138
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Takeaway for me was positioning, positioning, positioning. I've been at this stupid sport for a while now and I still consistently waste too much energy getting accordion'd. I focused on that yesterday and had a much more efficient ride.
Nice job! This is something I constantly try to stay on top of in big races, too. Getting in that "pocket" in the top 20 or so dudes where it still clumps together instead of being strung out is such an enormous difference compared to being 20 or so further back and lined out having to sprint after every turn. It's disheartening going full gas and looking up the road and seeing that little group of people in the front coasting lap after lap. But when you get yourself in that sweet spot and you're coasting around knowing all those people behind you are still sprinting back up to the group, it's nice. It really can be an extremely dramatic difference.
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Old 03-19-17, 05:12 PM   #139
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Made the mistake of lining up at the back of a sketchy 70 rider 4/5 pack (everyone's first race of the year).
Spend the next hour dodging crashes and near misses. People grabbing handfuls of brake out of the blue.
The yo-yo'ing caught up to me on mile ~30/52 and I couldn't bridge a small gap when the pack accelerated.

Lesson, stay in the top 10 of the group at all times. Go out train them and get out of that group ASAP.
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Old 03-19-17, 05:43 PM   #140
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Nothing wrong with lining up at the back, so why stay there?

People tell the n00bs a lot, "it's easier to stay in the top 10," but if that's true why do the weaker riders end up at the back? No matter where you are in the peloton, odds are you can learn to ride more efficiently.
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Old 03-19-17, 11:09 PM   #141
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Fun Afternoon at the Business Park

First Red Kite crit of the season today. Back to back 2/3 and P/1/2. Made sure to rest Friday and take it easy yesterday so I could be of some help to my fresh teammates in the P12.

In the 2/3 race (cut to 50 minutes due to an ambulance delay), my plan was to sit in for 10 minutes, make my way up and try and get in a strong looking move with 15 or 25 minutes to go. A very large break of maybe 10 or more guys seemed to be on the verge of sticking so I followed 3 guys and we worked very hard for a couple minutes to bridge. Alas, it seemed a few guys in the back half still had some juice and we're now closing in, while the break took the 4 of us for "the pack" and most of them sat up. A handful took this perfect opportunity to escape for good and there was nothing I could do about it after the bridge. So I settled in to focus on the field sprint. The last few laps were difficult to hold position because no one had any interest in keeping the pace up - so it was one of those surge, slow, surge, slow kinda things. Ended up a bit too far back but had a much better kick than I was expecting and passed a few guys for 9th in the field, 12/45 overall.

Since I managed to conserve pretty well (only 250/270 AP/NP) in the first race I was feeling halfway decent in the P12 race. We had a big team in this one, half fresh and half in a second race. Mattm got away in a 4 man break early in the race. I think the sprints I've been doing really helped cuz I had no trouble covering/shutting down maybe a dozen separate attacks. The gap was slowly increasing, 32 seconds, a few laps later 38 seconds... eventually 2 more teammates ended up following moves that stayed out front.

Unfortunately this group never caught Matt's group. And the pack slowed down considerably when everyone gave up the chase at minute 40 or so. So a few laps to go Matt's group laps us and we are down the 2 freshest guys up the road in no man's land. Three of us with some legs left plus Matt move to the front where the other team in the lapping break are trying to get away. We go as hard as we can to keep the pace up but just before the bell the other team escaped and we were cooked. I was about to try for one final dig when a teammate got to the front first and picked it up to 33 mph the entire back straight and up to the sprint. Was an awesome leadout for Matt but not quite enough and he took 4th. I was completely cooked, managed to hang onto the leadout somewhere around 6th wheel but as soon as the sprint started I blew up and went backwards coming in almost as far back as our leadout guy.

We may or may not have placed better if our other fresher guys weren't up the road, but one can't count on the break lapping the field when attacks are threatening to bridge up. Oh well, 20/20 hindsight and all.
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Old 03-19-17, 11:23 PM   #142
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So a few laps to go Matt's group laps us and we are down the 2 freshest guys up the road in no man's land.
I'm gonna have nightmares about this for the rest of my life!!

The other guys in the break didn't want to lap, I did - assuming I'd have a bunch of badass/fresh teammates waiting for me and the dynamics would change (two of the strongest guys in the race were in my break, on the same team). Instead I had a few badass teammates in the field, but none fresh..

Anyway, good racing with ya! Thanks for helping at the end there, every bit counts.
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Old 03-19-17, 11:38 PM   #143
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I'm gonna have nightmares about this for the rest of my life!!

The other guys in the break didn't want to lap, I did - assuming I'd have a bunch of badass/fresh teammates waiting for me and the dynamics would change (two of the strongest guys in the race were in my break, on the same team). Instead I had a few badass teammates in the field, but none fresh..

Anyway, good racing with ya! Thanks for helping at the end there, every bit counts.
Happy to help, it's fun to get a chance to dig deep for the team at the end. Too bad it wasn't enough but still fun times! To be honest I'm not sure how much difference it would make if we hadn't done the previous race. It's still 3 mere mortals vs a couple freaks of nature lol. I do wonder though if the better strategy would be to watch and chase. We probably could have chased them down if we waited longer (at least I would have had another big dig or two). 4 laps at no-attacks pace is a tough ask for 3 guys.
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Old 03-19-17, 11:49 PM   #144
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Happy to help, it's fun to get a chance to dig deep for the team at the end. Too bad it wasn't enough but still fun times! To be honest I'm not sure how much difference it would make if we hadn't done the previous race. It's still 3 mere mortals vs a couple freaks of nature lol. I do wonder though if the better strategy would be to watch and chase. We probably could have chased them down if we waited longer (at least I would have had another big dig or two). 4 laps at no-attacks pace is a tough ask for 3 guys.
Yeah for sure, there's no way to stop them from attacking - that's a given. The question is how much help will I have to chase them down when they do? A few times in those last few (hectic) laps I had to chase stuff down on my own. I'm too weak for that!

Raul's leadout at the end was perfect, it just ended 300m too early - that's when I needed one more person to help (plus freak-of-nature legs like those other guys).
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Old 03-19-17, 11:51 PM   #145
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Gifford 3/4 RR (Gifford UK)

5 laps of an 8 mile loop. First race of the season. The US equivalent would be a 2/3/4/5 field. There is not a UK cat 5 field and 2s have to maintain a certain number of points (25) each year, or they drop back to 3, so the field has plenty of guys who would be 2s in the US. It makes for some really interesting races where you have juniors mixed with wily old vets.

The race is put on by my team and we had 8 guys in the field. We'd decided before the race to police the front and animate the race. The thought was to put our guy (who was just a 2 last year) in a late move.

I was OTF for a lap and had a few other digs. With 2 to go our guy countered an attack of mine and got away with one other. Two teammates and I did a really good job of frustrating the chase and sitting on moves and the 2 up front stayed away. Teammate got 2nd out the break. I took 2nd in the field sprint (4th overall). Figured I'd earned it working for the team and road for myself in the final.

Takeaway for me was positioning, positioning, positioning. I've been at this stupid sport for a while now and I still consistently waste too much energy getting accordion'd. I focused on that yesterday and had a much more efficient ride.
Interesting to hear about racing across the pond!

Are the way points are earned similar to USAC? (top 10 or top 6 etc)
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Old 03-20-17, 04:50 AM   #146
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Interesting to hear about racing across the pond!

Are the way points are earned similar to USAC? (top 10 or top 6 etc)
Points work about the same. The difference is that pretty much every race is full and often times starts are doled out first to riders ranked higher, so points seem to have a more consistent value, if that makes sense.

The difference is in maintaining your category. In the States, once you're a 1 (or 2 or 3), put it on your tombstone. You downgrade only if you want to, but there are always Masters fields to race. Over here, you have a lesser amount of points you have to achieve each year just to maintain your current category, even if you're Cat 1. In what is otherwise a great road race structure, this seems to needlessly invite more sandbagging into the system.
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Old 03-20-17, 05:25 PM   #147
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Ward's Ferry P123 - 6/16

while packing the car at 5pm on friday to drive up to the race i wanted to raise my seat a little bit and my torque wrench decided not to work correctly (though user error is also to blame - i could tell i was applying too much torque) i handily crushed my seat post. cue a frantic phone call to the bike shop to figure out if he had a replacement on hand and whether he would stay open later, plus 2 hours fighting traffic and heading in the wrong direction away from the race. i ended up not getting to the hotel until 9:40PM. grr

anyway, my first serious climbing race (~8,000 ft) and also my first race against P12s. my game plan was to just try to stay with the group and not try any attacks (in retrospect, the wrong decision). one guy in the race i knew to be a superstar climber who crushed me at hill climbs last fall so i knew I needed to mark him, and there was another rider who my teammate pointed out to watch.

the course as the race flyer advertised: "A 12 mile loop of good to fair paving, two climbs and mostly rolling/mountain terrain. Several NARROW sections, the reason for the small field limits". the narrow emphasis was correct, but if that was 'good to fair paving' i'd hate to see what the promoter thinks of as *bad* paving. as far as i was concerned, the road was my worst nightmare - tons of potholes, narrow twisty descents with gravel in the corners (which could have been easily sweeped away by the promoter, WTF?). if i had known what I was up against I would have considered riding a less stiff bike or running less pressure in my tires or something. the race felt like trying to stay on a bucking bronco for 3 hours, my back and arms were completely ruined by the end. my garmin mount even slipped around during the race, something i didn't think was possible (i think i'll need to use loctite or something).

either way, 10 minutes in we hit the descent and i quickly realized i was in trouble. i was quickly spit off the back and gapped - twist narrow descents on bad roads are not something i want any part of. i was able to get back on, but i realized i was going to be in trouble later in the racer. several 1-3 man breaks made attempts throughout the race, beginning on the 2nd lap, but no one figured anyone could stay out alone for 2.5 hours. i'm pretty surprised that no break got more than ~45-60s despite none of us really 'chasing' as far as I could tell. the attacks just seemed to fizzle. i kept thinking that i would be able to make a much more serious attack if i tried, but i never did, as I was intimidated by the fear of doing something stupid in a field of more advanced riders.

in the end, the main attack came at the bell, through the feed zone on the last lap. on of the guys i was supposed to be paying attention to was making the attack so i knew it was serious, but i didn't have the legs to close it quickly and hoped others would come by and i could jump over to them. there was now 3 up the road, and another 3 came quickly from behind me and i couldnt jump on their wheel (i mean, we were on a 8-10% grade, so 'jumping on a wheel' is less valuable and pretty difficult) and so now there was a serious split with 6 serious guys 20s up the road with less than a lap remaining.

the group i was in wasn't really making up much ground chasing, and with the descent coming i was worried about being dropped even more. i put in a small attack right before the descent and got separation, and which point i started barreling down the descent after the lead group. if you had told me after the first descent that by the last lap i'd be attacking down it on the last lap i would have laughed, but there i was doing it (doing it solo was actually much easier as you then have better line of sight to see all of the potholes and sketchy bits). i ended up bridging solo to the lead group of 6 with about 2-3km to go, but i knew even if i was fresh i wouldn't be able to take them in a sprint. i ramped up the pace a bit once i joined them and ended up dropping one, but when the uphill sprint started i was left like i was standing still.

Takeaways

- I should have attacked. If I did I would have had a small chance of winning if the pack miscalculated vs. a 100% chance of not winning if I left it to the sprint. I understand how to race when I'm solo chasing a break or OTF (just go hard and pace the effort), I would have been more comfortable dodging pothole and obstacles solo, and I'm not good at saving energy in the pack (not that there was a ton to save when most of it was climbing and I had to chase back on after descents anyway).
- I don't have a lot of punch for a finishing sprint, and I can't let it come down to that if I want to win. Fully rested and motivated, I bet if we started the whole field at the base of the final straight and sprinted I'd probably have the W/kg to place in the top half or maybe slightly better, but I definitely don't have enough to win. I need to play to my strengths, and in this race I should have at the very least *tried* a breakaway (halfway at the earliest, 2 to go at the latest).
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Old 03-20-17, 05:32 PM   #148
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RKO #2 Criterium 3/4 - 31/60

Still pretty sore from the day before, but the power seemed to be there during my warmup so I figured I'd still do OK. 60 racers made for the biggest race I've been in, and I was in for a learning experience on a fast, flat crit course. Half a lap in and I was solo OTF for 3 laps, where I quickly learned holding 28mph was probably not going to be sustainable for too long. I cut the power back from 370W -> 320W after 5 minutes (probably still not super sustainable for me on the flats for 40 minutes) and was swallowed up shortly afterwards by the 60-strong juggernaut. i followed one or two more breaks, but had a lot of trouble moving up at such high speeds and with so many riders. i was also *immediately* behind two crashes, one midway and one with a lap to go that brought down several riders and caused a bit of a split that i was on the wrong side of. i still am not sure how i managed to avoid both of those crashes given my proximity to them.

RKO #2 Criterium 2/3 - 25/45

The start was delayed 30 minutes because the M35+ 123 race beforehand ended with a bad crash going into the last lap which required a couple guys to be carted off in ambulances. Combined with the crashes from earlier in the day I very seriously considered packing up my bike and driving home, but I ended up racing anyway, resolving to try and do a better job of staying near the front and out of trouble. I deliberately didn't do much at the start of the race, but bridged to a big group near the middle for a few laps but there was way too many people in it for there to be a chance of it lasting. My faith of breaks not having a chance bit me a little while later, as once we got into the lap cards two members of another team pulled off a great slingshot bridge right in front me to make 3 up the road. I should have jumped on that wheel as I saw it happening, but instead I did a half-bridge and then just figured the field would swallow them up anyway so what's the point. The 3 stayed away, and I just finished with the field, satisfied to have not gone home in a stretcher. A teammate I'd never met won the field sprint to take 4th, but I can hardly claim credit for that.

Takeaways
- I will not be racing a crit like this again, at least for a long while. I'm very impressed with how much more comfortable I was than in the past in a large pack, but this kind of racing is not something I want to pursue. I know I won't get better at these types of races unless I do more of them, but the risk:reward just isn't there for me. If the course or conditions aren't selective enough to whittle down the field I'm just pack fodder. I think I'd be able to roll the dice and enter these large flat crits if I was forced to as part of a stage race, but otherwise there are races I'm better suited for
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Old 03-20-17, 05:52 PM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scheibo View Post
RKO #2 Criterium 3/4 - 31/60

Still pretty sore from the day before, but the power seemed to be there during my warmup so I figured I'd still do OK. 60 racers made for the biggest race I've been in, and I was in for a learning experience on a fast, flat crit course. Half a lap in and I was solo OTF for 3 laps, where I quickly learned holding 28mph was probably not going to be sustainable for too long. I cut the power back from 370W -> 320W after 5 minutes (probably still not super sustainable for me on the flats for 40 minutes) and was swallowed up shortly afterwards by the 60-strong juggernaut. i followed one or two more breaks, but had a lot of trouble moving up at such high speeds and with so many riders. i was also *immediately* behind two crashes, one midway and one with a lap to go that brought down several riders and caused a bit of a split that i was on the wrong side of. i still am not sure how i managed to avoid both of those crashes given my proximity to them.

RKO #2 Criterium 2/3 - 25/45

The start was delayed 30 minutes because the M35+ 123 race beforehand ended with a bad crash going into the last lap which required a couple guys to be carted off in ambulances. Combined with the crashes from earlier in the day I very seriously considered packing up my bike and driving home, but I ended up racing anyway, resolving to try and do a better job of staying near the front and out of trouble. I deliberately didn't do much at the start of the race, but bridged to a big group near the middle for a few laps but there was way too many people in it for there to be a chance of it lasting. My faith of breaks not having a chance bit me a little while later, as once we got into the lap cards two members of another team pulled off a great slingshot bridge right in front me to make 3 up the road. I should have jumped on that wheel as I saw it happening, but instead I did a half-bridge and then just figured the field would swallow them up anyway so what's the point. The 3 stayed away, and I just finished with the field, satisfied to have not gone home in a stretcher. A teammate I'd never met won the field sprint to take 4th, but I can hardly claim credit for that.

Takeaways
- I will not be racing a crit like this again, at least for a long while. I'm very impressed with how much more comfortable I was than in the past in a large pack, but this kind of racing is not something I want to pursue. I know I won't get better at these types of races unless I do more of them, but the risk:reward just isn't there for me. If the course or conditions aren't selective enough to whittle down the field I'm just pack fodder. I think I'd be able to roll the dice and enter these large flat crits if I was forced to as part of a stage race, but otherwise there are races I'm better suited for
That was Raul that won the field sprint in the 2/3's, he'll be a 1 relatively soon.

Anyway glad you raced a crit and got a taste for it! If you'd be in the 1/2's race you could have gotten in my break and helped out. =]

You say you don't like big crits, but what about big RRs? 60-100 people (you'll do one eventually) on a one-lane road is much harder to move around in that a big flat crit like Red Kite. Not saying you have to like crits, but you can't do small races forever!
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Old 03-20-17, 06:47 PM   #150
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apparently when i did Berkeley Hills RR last year it was 56 riders, but the field was split in two after the first time up mama bear. i'm happy to race stuff like that.

also, I 100% can do small races forever. thats totally an option, at least while we keep propping up velopromo in norcal. in fact, i bet most of the races i will enter will be on the smaller side, because i could easily tell just by looking at half the field yesterday that they wouldnt be able to make it 10 minutes in a climbing race, and they probably know that as well which is why they don't come out to those. i'll make a deal with you - for every crit you want me to do you have to do a climbing race of my choice. its only fair
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