First ever criterium race.
I finally managed to enter my first proper bicycle race this weekend.
My club entered me in the Masters 30-39 race (6 laps, 15km) and also the Open Points Race (12 laps, sprints for points every second lap).
In the Masters race we had a big entry. The 50+ guys went off first, one minute later the 40-49, then us. Pretty much the whole club was on the track.
I clipped in slow and was on the tail at the first turn (about 200m from start) and never caught the pack. Managed to get some good work going with a couple of guys from other teams, but the top riders (a group of about 10) were able to lap us as we completed our 5th lap. We finished well and didn't let the main group lap us, but I was pretty much at the back of the results. There were 2 guys behind me (I sprinted from my 'mini' group at the end) and 6 DNF.
One of the DNF results was one of our guys. His story is that someone did something silly, then a guy behind/to the side of him took out his back wheel. You can see the dents in the rim and how out of true it is. He also trashed his frame. Guy who hit him did a bit of a face plant and ended up with a cracked jaw, a deep cut to his chin and 3 less teeth.
A couple of hours later it was the points race. I was never seriously going to be able to help the team here, so the plan for us slower guys was to do as many laps as we could before the elite riders lapped us and we had to pull out.
One of our guys stuck with the elite pack (top 5) to finish with some points. A couple of the guys managed to stay with the main pack for all 12 laps.
However, 4 of us had to pull over after completing only 6.5 laps or so. The motorbike came past just after the end of lap 6, so we slowed and pulled to the side to allow the elites through. As we completed the lap (cooling down) the main pack took us a little later.
I had a bunch more fun in the points race as there were more people my speed. The same couple of guys from the masters race plus some fast juniors (and their dad or coach). We had 4 adults all taking pulls for the young lads (I estimate between 14-16 years of age). The photo of two tiny boys drafting behind my fat back end is pretty funny!
All in all a lot of fun.
(Captions to Photos: A1 - No102, A2 - pre-race Masters, A3 - mid-race, A4 - finishing!, A5 - mass start to points race, A6 - kids drafting the 'monster')