Today I raced in the third Early Brid Criterium of the year. The series is a learning set of races, primary designed to teach new racers the skills needed to be safe in the peloton.
Today's mentoring session focused on pacelines and bridging gaps, but most of the time in my group we were milling around not really getting it together. For some reason the folks in my group couldn't grasp the concept of a double paceline. The gap drill went well, however.
The weather was reasonable, about 60 degrees with a 10-15 mph wind. The 35+ race was a little more aggressive than last week, but less so than week #1. It seems that the racers are starting to understand the idea of conserving thier energy early in the race, and picking up the pace later on.
Well, everyone but me, anyway. On about lap 2 I went up to the front, and tried to get into a break. Unfortunately I didn't jump hard enough and just dragged the pack up to the break. Lesson learned, jump HARD!
After a couple of laps near the front, I started cramping a bit and so went to the back to sit in and recover. I made my way back up to the front and was about 10-20 places back by the bell lap. When the bell went, however, those with good legs really turned up the heat and they were gone in a flash. I noodled around the last lap pretty much by myself, but I felt pretty good that I had been there until the very end.
I'll be back for #4 next week, ready to suffer like a dog again.
Yeah, the mentoring session was jacked. I think it was a combination of people not paying attention, and mentors who were a little too hyper and throwing directions around left and right. No crashes in the <35 race either.
Crap, first session with no crashes and I miss it?
I was kind of wondering how the mentoring today would go. It sounded like a vague concept on paper even. I noticed last week that a lot of people were having a hard time with the idea of a paceline, too (even when the mentors practically beat them over the head). It's these folks, I'm convinced, that give Cat 5s a bad name
Good job, platypus...glad to hear you are getting in there and mixing it up out front. I had a similar experience the first week, ugh!
toshi, did you talk to any other AVs? The more experienced 4/5s were going to try to execute some strategy in the earlier race.
yep, there seems to be a pretty good BF representation at the Early Birds. I'm debating heading out to the EB Road Race next Saturday. It was mentioned, though, that the road race may be cancelled if there's ice on the roads.
I'll be at the 4th EB Crit (in Fremont!) for sure though.
yeah the mentoring setup was chaos. under 35 cat 5 race was fun. almost nabbed second from that dude in red. the aussie / kiwi guy in grey with the sideburns nailed first, I've got my eye on that guy from now on - something about him screams sandbagger. took a flyer on the backside of the prime lap for my teammate (team oakland, orange and black kits), but only one came with. looked back and I had that dude in a full orange jersey on my wheel, he nabbed the $5 gift cert! doh! how am I gonna feed my family?!?!?!
Did you see that guy in the old Team Mercury jersey/steel red & yellow LeMond go off the front hard just before the second to last turn? He got swallowed up a few meters after the turn (and I tried and failed to bridge) but he looked strong. Actually I think he could have stayed away to the finish and was just testing out his legs. His jump was ridiculous.
Anyways, the average speed of the <35 races is trending downwards. The first race was absolutely brutal, now nobody wants to work.
yeah there were really no breaks to speak of with the first group. that headwind was brutal. the team pillar dudes in red pulled for a bunch of it. something tells me those dudes and a few others that take them long pulls are building some sweet base. I did absolutely no work other than take a flyer on the backside of the prime lap. next race I'm gonna see if I can get my team up front and organize keeping the pace a tad faster. would be good training for us regardless of the finish. I think if we could dial it up another 2-4 mph the pack'd shred even more...
Anybody know who the Healthnet rider was in the 1/2/3 race?
It looks like the Early Bird road race should be a "Go" on Saturday since the road has been reopened and the overnight lows are supposed to warm up on Thursday and Friday.
From the VeloPromo website:
"The Early Bird Road Race in Patterson is on. The County lifted its closure of Del Puerto Canyon due to icy conditions last week. As always, there will be some icy spots, we will try to sand and mark those we find in the pre-race drive-through. There is a possibility of a further closure if the weather gets much colder again; there will an update here on Thursday 1/25. "
Looking forward to #4, skipped #3 to ride solo and work on some things. Should be a good turn out, after all it's Meet the team day. If anybody wants to stop by I'll be at the team tent. We'll all be wearing blue, but I'll be easy to spot cuz I'm the only Latino dude