Today I raced in the 4th out of 5 Early Bird crits in Fremont, CA.
The weather looked pretty iffy this morning, raining on my roof to wake me up. The rain stayed away from the race site, however, and the roads were pretty dry by the time I got there. Today was "meet the teams" day, and several local teams had booths set up letting folks know how to go about joining up.
I went out for my now-usual warmup ride through Coyote Hills Park. The clouds made for some very pretty scenery as I rode along the bayfront. Once back at the race site, I sat in on the Mentoring session which covered "threaded pacelines" today, as well as a repeat of the cornering drills we had practiced a couple of weeks ago.
In the race, I found myself off the front on the opening lap with 'nother and one of his AV teammates (didn't catch his name - sorry!). We were goofing around, joking about being off the front, and sat up after the first corner. There's no sense attacking on lap 1 of a 40 minute crit.
Not that that kept another fellow from attacking on lap 2. This guy scooted up the right side and shot off the front. Some of the folks at the front of the bunch started to chase, but were quickly reminded that he was all by himself and it's a long way to go.
The rest of the race was mainly characterized by an uneven tempo and generally low speeds. According to 'nother's cyclecomputer, the average speed was 20.8 MPH. Several breaks were tried, but nothing stuck.
My main goal today was to finish in the bunch (something I hadn't quite managed yet), so I was largely sitting in trying to rest as much as possible. I vividly remembered the last-lap accelleration that I couldn't match last week, and I was determined that I wouldn't get left behind today. Except, it never came. On the last lap, there was no jump by the field. I waited to see when the jump would happen, maybe with half a lap to go? Nope, there was no big surge. Go figure.
So, as a result of my rampant paranoia and sitting on, I finished in the main group. Mission accomplished.
Next week, if there's no jump I'm going to jump myself and see if I can't make something happen.
Next week's the final EB crit of the year, and this one counts for real live points. Regardless, since I'll have done all 5 of the EB's I'll have the necessary 10 mass starts needed to upgrade to cat 4. (The mentoring sessions also count as mass starts for upgrade purposes.)
I'll be out there, suffering like a dog as usual.