Long I know, I dont expect many to read it but it helps me see where I made mistakes.
Let me start with a HUGE thanks to brandy, who pretty much saved the 5's race from destruction. (more on that later). So I arrived friday night at 10:00ish PM and stayed at a friend of a friends house. He was out there today in the 55+ and came in 12 overall I think. Very nice gentleman and i would like to say thank you to him again (not sure if he's on here).
Stage 1: Crit Got there early, had time to get a number and on the trainer with more than an hour before my race. Sweet, it's nice to have the race 5 minutes from where your staying. Got a good 45 min warm up and rode the course a few times before we started. Looked to be an ok course. Two 400 meter straights, and two 150-200 meter straights, of which one was the finish. First corner had a slight dip in it, which didn't seem to be too bad when warming up at 21-22 ish. Rest of the corners were prefect. Line up and a few minutes later the *** goes off and the pain is on. Actually the first half of the race wasn't all that bad, other than finding out that the first corner for the first few laps was much different at speed and having a few near crashes there., one guy went off the front and we just kinda pegged him at about 20 seconds and he sat out there for about 3-4 laps before we brought him back in. The rest of the race went something like this: someone attacks, a few chase, guy is caught, pace slows down to 20, repeat ad naseum.
From a spectators view it probably looked like a very safe race, realistically, it was a horrible field, countless near crashes, even at the front. One guy, coming around corner 4, somehow skipped his rear wheel up about a foot and over about a foot and a half, clipped a pedal upon coming back down and somehow kept it upright, most amazing save i've ever seen on a bike ( i was on his wheel during this event just praying that he wouldn't go down). Very boring and slow race for the most part, until the last few laps that is. All of a sudden everyone who was sitting in all race comes to the front to have some fun, or at least tries to. Some idiot starts his sprint about half way through the lap with about 500 meters left, maybe a little more. So the field starts their sprint, most cat 5's cant sprint for 500 meters. 90% of the field dies with about 300 to go. I've just been sitting on a wheel until now, and I launch mine. 45 excruciatingly painful seconds later, the guy who managed to get on my wheel nips me at the line. 2nd place overall, not bad.
"Recovery ride" which i described in an earlier post
Stage 2: Circuit race (basically another crit with a few rollers)
The night before I had written the leaders numbers down and raced with them so I would know who to watch out for. Funny thing is both of the other top 3 had done the same. We start out, and I notice it's much colder today (damn time change). My fingers near froze off in the first few laps and it was the first race I kept arm warmers on for the majority of it. The same guy (oron I later learned his name is) went off the front, and the field seemed good with letting him sit out there for a few laps. Every tim he would start to gain time, I would launch an attack, to which the other higher up in GC would respond and when the field caught me, I would sit up and roll back in. What happened though was that for the next 5 minutes or so the pace would pick up and we would bring Oron a little closer. We caught him at lap 3 again i think. The rest of the race again was very boring, with the same basic tactics as yesterday. Chase anything that goes off the front, then sit up. Other than the one complete ***** who moved over into my line and braked in front of me twice when i tried to launch an attack and had nowhere to go.
Last lap the pace picks up again and coming into the final corners the three leaders of the overall are all in the top 5-10. The final spring i take wide following Oron's wheel and try to dip inside to come around but get boxed in and ended up in 5th. The winner was the guy in 3rd overall so he moved up into 1st and i moved down to 3rd.
Now comes the best part. They had started the 4's 5 minutes ahead of us because they thought that they would be faster, well it turns out we almost caught them and the officials didn't have time to reload the finishing film for our race. We got to try to figure out who came in where by a few spectators with cameras ( again thank to Brandy). most places weren't that hard, but one guy managed to squeak in into 3rd, which I'm not sure if he was in (not saying anything, just bringing that up). The two positions that were unclear though were 4th and 5th. Mine and Oron's. Take a guess how that was decided... anyone.. do I hear coin flip. yea a coin flip, of which i lost and moved to 5th. Only later did i find out from my coach that there actually is a way that the results in those situation are supposed to be decided, but the results had already been finalized. Oh well, next time.
On a happier note, the top 5 did receive very nice trophies ( the first one I've stuck around for), and i think I might now be able to convince the officials to let me upgrade after LA circuit race with my finishes so far.
Oh and a new FTP (364 normalized on the circuit race) and 5min power (421 in the crit). 5W/Kg, and 5.92 W/Kg respectively. Now all I need to work on is my sprint. The FTP was one my goals for the year. Glad that's done.