Well MWCCC people, how did you do?
After a lot of back and forth with myself, I decided to race C's again this year because I've never raced a crit and I want to start doing crits this year. Then I went and missed Sunday's crit. Brilliant. Anyway, here's my report on Saturday:
The weather was a nice surprise, and the field was huge. I just got an e-mail saying they're thinking about putting in some D races because there were so many people there. I did my first ever race at DePauw last year, so I kept having a bunch of old memories coming back. I managed to get there early and find my way towards the front of the line, so all in all I was feeling pretty good about the day. Last year I made the mistake of being too far in the back, and I lost sight of the peloton and never caught back up (there's an old report in here somewhere, which would probably be too embarassing for me to look at again).
The yellow line rule was in effect, so I stayed close to it and used the left side of the road as my way out if something crazy were to happen. I had mixed results with this strategy. The good news is that I saw two crashes in front of me, but managed to get around both of them without incident. The bad news is that I didn't get in a good position for the last kilometer or so.
I'm not sure if it was the big field or the cop car in front or what, but there was a lot of getting up to speed, slowing down to a snail's pace, and speeding up again. Every time I got into a comfortable flow the inevitable slowing would come again. For a while there on the last lap we actually got into a good fast flow for a while, and I thought we'd finally get down to business, but we ended up slowing again.
Towards the end I wasn't agressive enough in getting towards the very front. The pack was so big that there wasn't really space to get through easily, so with the two earlier crashes in mind I just wimped it out and decided to just stay to the left and try to burst ahead of some people once the whole road was open for the uphill sprint. On the downhill before the sprint some guy popped a spoke or something (I felt bad for that guy), which slowed a few of us down and ruined my strategy. I finished somewhere in the main pack, so my result won't be anything too exciting when it's finally posted.
I'm kind of anxious to hear how the crit went.