First let me say I'm new to racing. I've ridden possibly 20 odd crits, one time trial and one road race. I've been racing crits twice a week this summer and I went to the national masters last week and rode the crit and the TT (woosed out of the RR). I didn't do well by any normal standards, as you'd expect, but I loved every minute of it and now I have a bench mark to work toward, but I digress.
Today I rode probably the best (strongest) race I've ever ridden but came last! Let me explain.
I was doing my regular Sunday crit. The race started rather slowly and the first lap was quite relaxed. Then a guy I don't know made a break so I chased and dragged the group up to him. The pace was on from there and he and I rode the front for most of the race. He was obviously strong and made several more breaks, all of which I chased down but each time I caught him he sat up and the group got back on. I tried a couple of attacks but he chased and caught me but wouldn't continue the attack. I wanted him to do some work but each time he caught me he just sat on and eased back. I tried to go alone but each time he brought the group back to me. Except for a couple of short lame attempts from two other riders, no one else would take a turn on the front.
Ok so we're on the bell lap and he goes again and I decide not to chase. He gets to 50 meters and eases. I'm leading the chase group but they don't want to work, happy to leave me on the front. I'm NOT happy but I'm undecided so I give it one last effort and chase him down once more and take his wheel coming into the finish straight at which time he sits up! Again the group has sat on me and as he sits up they make their move and go hard leaving me bogged down behind him, pretty much spent and so I give up.
After the race I complained that they were all a bunch of wheel sitters and should be ashamed to contest the sprint after getting dragged along for the whole bloody race. Their answer; "we couldn't take the front because the pace was too quick and we were struggling just to keep up"?????
His reason for not working; he's had two wins this season and was risking an upgrade with a third????
I think I was soundly 'done' by a cunning bunch of race smart old regulars.
Problem now is, what do I do in future races????