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Old 02-04-07, 07:14 PM   #1
UmneyDurak
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Early Bird Crit: The last one

So I finally was able to come out to the crash fest known as Early Bird Crits. I left around 9:20, looking at the map it was about 25 mile ride each way. I was worried I would be late, but arrived with plenty of time to register. Asked one of the AV guys to pin a number on me.
The training thing started out somewhat sketchy, but got better as people settled in. The paceline drills were a nice reminder on how to ride in a pack. It was like riding well a bicycle. No one crashed out or looked too sketchy. So it was a good sign for a crit.
The main event! The field was split in to two groups. The 5* were in first group, and 3* were in the second. As someone explained it to me. Both groups are CAT5, they ran out of 5* numbers and were giving out 3* for later arivals. The pace was pretty easy. I think we were going around 23, with brief trips in to 27 range when someone decided to be Mr. Big Nuts. The juniors were in the front at the beginning. Everyone let them have their fun. Slowly they drifted in to the middle of the pack. Personally I tried to stay in the top 1/5th. To lessen the likehood of being caught in a crash. Didn't really see anything too stupid. Just the usual CAT5 behavior with wheel overlaping, and some sketchiness. I let one guy in in front of me early in the race. Only to realise he was riding with his son. They were trying to do something, and looked somewhat unsafe. So I tried to stay away from them for most of the race. With ten minutes to go I was in a paceline, with probably four or 5 people in front of me. Next thing we know officials are trying to neutralize a race. WTF? Apparently other group lapped us! mmm ok... So everyone slowed down, for a lap. Which allowed struglers to catch on, and we were back to one big group. Great! NOT! Bad call I think. So after race was restarted we crossed the line and the bell was rang. Final lap, yey! On the back side everyone was still doing around 23-24. You would think pace would pick up. So I figured I will see what I have left in my tank, and liven things up. Sprinted in front. Only hit 27! What a hell? I was able to do 35 easy last year. I guess I have a lot of work ahead of me. Anyway that woke up the rest of the group. They cranked it to 27-30s. I stayed away from the final sprint. No one crashed, but I think it was a right choice, based on what officials were saying after the race. Looking at my computer the average for the race was about 23mph.
Hanged around for an hour or so. Waiting for results. Saw 35+ race. They were doing great untill the last lap. There was a crash comming in to the final stretch. Anyway results didn't came, so I gave up and rode home. Was taking it easy in zone 1, when a couple riders passed me. One of them said "Jump in if you want." That caught me by suprise. So I jumped on. Normally I wouldn't since my rides are based on time not miles, but today I just wanted to get home as soon as possible. Plus I figured would get me to start riding above zone1. Rode with them for a few blocks. Took my "pull". They turned left, and I continued on my merry way.
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Old 02-04-07, 07:20 PM   #2
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How long do people stay at the front when the pace is 23+?
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Old 02-04-07, 07:30 PM   #3
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So, did you win? Sounds like you did, if so, congrats
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Old 02-04-07, 07:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcheung
How long do people stay at the front when the pace is 23+?
Really depends on a person doing it. Some might stay for half a lap, some will do it for mutiple laps.
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Old 02-04-07, 07:31 PM   #5
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So, did you win? Sounds like you did, if so, congrats
Lol, no I didn't. I need to work on my top end, to be competitive in final sprints.

Last edited by UmneyDurak; 02-04-07 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 02-04-07, 07:41 PM   #6
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Lol, no I didn't. I need to work on my top end, to be competitive in final sprints.
Ah well. If you could hold that 27 for a little longer and launch earlier you might have good results too. Although if you were sprinting at 35 last year I'd just work on that and sit in and wait for the field sprints.
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Old 02-04-07, 07:51 PM   #7
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I was wondering what the 3** numbers were for. I had heard it was for Juniors, but at the wrapup that would of made for some mature looking 18 year olds!!!! I think they just screwed up on the numbers for our two groups today, because I sure didn't see any Juniors in the 5** group.

Today was a good day, I felt really good, annoyed the pack with jokes and song, took turns in the front/back and helped lead out a teamate. Best of all, I never have to do that course again and I have all skin intact!
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Old 02-04-07, 08:11 PM   #8
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the 35+ race made up for our clean race a couple of weeks ago with two crashes today. The first came with about 6 to go and was a 5-guy pileup, but everyone seemed to be all right. The second was a two-man affair on the final straight, and they had to call in an ambulance for that one. I didn't see it happen as I had gotten popped OTB just after turn 1 of the last lap.

Other than that, not much to report on the 35+ race. It was faster than last week, probably more like week #3 in terms of the racing.
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Old 02-04-07, 08:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcheung
How long do people stay at the front when the pace is 23+?
Since there's no team strategy whatsoever in the 5's, if someone wants to stay up front you let 'em. It just varies from person to person and race to race.

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Old 02-04-07, 08:38 PM   #10
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Yeah, see my other thread.
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Old 02-04-07, 10:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by platypus
the 35+ race made up for our clean race a couple of weeks ago with two crashes today. The first came with about 6 to go and was a 5-guy pileup, but everyone seemed to be all right. The second was a two-man affair on the final straight, and they had to call in an ambulance for that one. I didn't see it happen as I had gotten popped OTB just after turn 1 of the last lap.

Other than that, not much to report on the 35+ race. It was faster than last week, probably more like week #3 in terms of the racing.
I had the extreme bad luck to be directly behind *both* of these. First one I busted my a$$ hooking back on to the pack because there were still a few laps left and I figured I could still hang in, But then the second one and I just said screw it. The second one was pretty bad. One of our guys (Sam) went down (secondarily) but he said he'd managed to slow down so he just had some minor scrapes on his arm and some inconsequential damage to his bike.

Team CS was looking good but I was talking to some of the guys on the cool-down lap and it sounded like they took 3rd. But they definitely had some strategy working, they had a huge train on the final lap.

Umney, I was looking for you and your fender but never saw you. Have to catch you on the B ride or A ride some time soon.
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Old 02-04-07, 11:04 PM   #12
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'nother I was there at the finish line after your race, and by the look on you I was wondering what had happened to you during the race. You looked to just be ready to be done with the whole thing. Glad it's something you should be able to recover from for next race. We (Team CS) did end up doing really well in the 35+, but we have so many riders in there we should be up there. The math worked for us and against us. In that first pileup where the guy in front blew his tire and took a bunch out, we lost 2. All minor scuffs, but enough to take them out of the race. On the final though we got 2nd & 3rd, and the guy in 2nd is the oldest guy on the team, Rudi. On my first group ride w/the team he killed me on a hill, and I mean killed me, like I was ready to sell my bike and take up another sport.

Also, met Paul from AV at the start line in the 5's, seemed like a nice enough guy.

Anyhow, got a couple good shots this time of your race, but this is by far the best, you can see a little of every team.
finish2.jpg
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Old 02-04-07, 11:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelikan
'nother I was there at the finish line after your race, and by the look on you I was wondering what had happened to you during the race. You looked to just be ready to be done with the whole thing.
ha ha, yeah, I was pissed because going into the 2nd to last lap I had a Schleck-esque moment, well, not quite I'm gonna win this ****, but at least "I'm gonna finish this ****" and then got behind that second wreck and figured someone was trying to tell me something so I just let 'em go.

Felt pretty good this week actually and I think had I not been behind both of those (and maybe not gone so hard during mentoring) I might have been up there in the top 1/5th or so but then the voice in my head kept telling me it's early, just finish and stay upright.

For the most part the field was decent, but there were at least 2 very sketchy riders out there. I felt like I spent half the race avoiding them.

BTW, good job to you and your team, you guys have been outstanding throughout the whole series.


My wife and kids were out there, couple of photos below, from early in the race when I was actually up near the front platypus is in the second one. BTW if you were wearing a green jersey of any sort, my kids were probably calling you "daddy" as you went by.


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Old 02-05-07, 12:02 AM   #14
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Are all the roads (and turns) as wide as the ones in the photo?
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Old 02-05-07, 09:41 AM   #15
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Ride for / with CycleSports. Was in the first group. Had nothing in the tank after a hard-ish team ride on Sat. CS chased the ITT breakaway guy from last week the whole time, kept him with the pack. But it wasn't CS' chasing that kept him with us - he was tanked from racing track on Sat! Dude is HUGE and hella strong. We didn't really get it together for a leadout, could only find one other teammate on the final stretch, went too early, got swallowed up with about 20 meters to go and passed by at least 8 dudes. Oh well.

Note to self: ride light the day before. And talk to team mates about always trying to organize a leadout, regardless of whether our earlier strategy (a mass break) fails (it did, we were all mostly tanked). Simian I didn't see you or Sam - did you guys pull anything off? Mr. Massive ITT dude shake-n-baked' off my tail and whupped me.
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Old 02-05-07, 09:42 AM   #16
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Oh, and we were in the E's, not the masters. Simian what was our ave speed again?
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Old 02-05-07, 10:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadVW
Are all the roads (and turns) as wide as the ones in the photo?
For that particular crit? Yes. From technical point of view, it's a super easy crit. Which makes sense considering what it is designed for.
Now for crits in North California in general they do vary. I forgot the name now, but there is one that goes through resdential neightbourhood. Crappy roads, have some kind of ditches going through the streets. When I raced it someone parked a truck on one of the corners. So if you were not carefull you could plow right in to it.
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Old 02-05-07, 10:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'nother
... (and maybe not gone so hard during mentoring)...
Yeah, the pace we were setting during the mentoring session was a bit dumb. I was pretty gassed from the start of the race after our balls-to-the-wall breakaway.

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...platypus is in the second one.
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Old 02-05-07, 10:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UmneyDurak
For that particular crit? Yes. From technical point of view, it's a super easy crit. Which makes sense considering what it is designed for.
Now for crits in North California in general they do vary. I forgot the name now, but there is one that goes through resdential neightbourhood. Crappy roads, have some kind of ditches going through the streets. When I raced it someone parked a truck on one of the corners. So if you were not carefull you could plow right in to it.
Actually I think that corner (#1) is one of the easier ones. I don't have a measurement, but turn 2 certainly looks narrower, and is mentally a bit more challenging because it's fairly wide going in, but there's a 4" curb and little gutter on the exit. Whereas turn #1 is the other way 'round, narrower (relatively speaking) going in, and widens up on the exit.

The pace of the race(s) somewhat confirm this, it always seems to accelerate through turn 1 and slow way down in turn 2, though that sometimes is due to wind.

I guess you can look at the map...course goes clockwise Dumbarton Circle, Campus Dr, Kaiser Dr, Dumbarton Cir. Turn 1 is the corner of Dumbarton Circle and Campus.
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Old 02-05-07, 11:38 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcheung
How long do people stay at the front when the pace is 23+?
As long as it pleases me to do so.

Obviously, this varies by ability level, headwind, gradient, race situation, etc.
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Old 02-05-07, 11:42 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contra Fixie
Oh, and we were in the E's, not the masters. Simian what was our ave speed again?
The average speed for the race was 25. My max was 33mph - which gained me a few spots on the final sprint but I was so far back after getting stuck in the pack that I only managed 14th. Contra...you got 8th. The new guy got 2nd...and Sam somehow managed both 21st AND 22nd.

Hammering up hills on a stop-and-go training ride before a race is *not* ideal. And yes, we need to coordinate...you guys were way on the outside, and I was stuck on the inside. Had I been near enough I had enough for a long lead-out. Next time.
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Old 02-05-07, 12:38 PM   #22
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yeah for sure man, next time. we got the whole year and I swear each race I learn so much. like I am just STARTING to get a sense for what might be possible. I just guessed I got 8th - are the results up? where?

yeah that start and stop was tough on sat. I don't like that. plus no nap-with-the-legs up sucks. I could feel the lactic acid pooling as we sat and jawed at Jesse's.

you coming out on tues?
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Old 02-05-07, 01:27 PM   #23
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Sounds like you had a good time and you were able to ride away in tact. That sounds like great day on the bike to me! Did they limit the field to 50?
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Old 02-05-07, 01:28 PM   #24
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I hadn't noticed them limiting the field, but the under 35/juniors race was routinely split into 3 groups.
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Old 02-05-07, 07:40 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simian
The average speed for the race was 25. My max was 33mph - which gained me a few spots on the final sprint but I was so far back after getting stuck in the pack that I only managed 14th. Contra...you got 8th. The new guy got 2nd...and Sam somehow managed both 21st AND 22nd.

Hammering up hills on a stop-and-go training ride before a race is *not* ideal. And yes, we need to coordinate...you guys were way on the outside, and I was stuck on the inside. Had I been near enough I had enough for a long lead-out. Next time.
Are you talking about cat4/5 at 8, or cat 5s at 12?
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