12 years since my last crit.... and tonight I did two (3/4 and a 1-4 open), ended up with a 6th EDIT: 5th (lapped rider) place and a pack finish -- and some crampy legs
UT_dude, nice to meet you, and good job tonight!
The first race wasn't too eventful, but it was really fun. There were maybe 30 racers lined up (35 min., cat 3 & 4 men and cat 1-3 women). It started out pretty smoothly. Initially, I stayed up front. There were frequent attacks, so I was getting drawn into chasing them down a little too much. This course isn't too tight, so I decided to drop back in the pack and get away from the turbulence up front. Much easier about 2/3 back -- almost boring. As I understand from UT_dude, most of his team was missing, so the pace was slower.
When we got down to 3 laps to go, I started moving to the front. In the last lap, I got up to the very front before the final corner, and felt pretty good. Unfortunately, I gave too much room on the inside in the last corner (I thought more people would try to come around on the outside because of the chicane there -- it's a better place to pass). This allowed a guy to get up on me a bit, and take part of my line. I slowed (mistake), and a couple more guys got around me. Then the finish was right there, and I couldn't regain any of them in the sprint.
I ended up with 6th place. I crossed the line at 193bpm (I have a 194 max). So that's about all I had -- but I should have stuck with it in that corner -- I'm too out of practice in crits. Average speed was about 25mph.
At the last minute, 45 minutes later, I decided to do the 60 minute cat 1-4 open race. My legs felt great after the first race (it was a trick -- they're out to get me). I figured I'd just go around for half the race and not take it too seriously.
This race kind of eased into a fast pace, though most of it was double-wide (not all single-file like I expected). I mostly concentrated on managing my position and identified the corners where I could make up a lot of ground. I got so much more comfortable with the hard cornering in this race, and that was a great feeling. I was just brushing my inside pedal on a couple corners, so I had that action dialed in. We were taking most of the corners at 29mph -- it was really fun. It made the drive home a little hairy until I calmed down.
Anyway, my HR was pretty contained during the race, but my legs were starting to go. With 25 minutes left, I could feel the cramps trying to start up, and I was in survival mode. I was counting down the minutes ("I can do this for 9 more minutes, right?"). I finished deep in the pack and didn't contest the sprint at all. Average speed was 26.6 for 60 minutes.
I like crits