||07-29-13 05:56 PM
Lotsa good racing this weekend!
I went to Salida for 3 days of racing SW4.
Friday: 8 mile Time Trial 8th/16 - exactly mid-pack as usual, but only 58 seconds off the winner, so that is good. Power number was stupidly low - altitude? wheel? fitness? no way to know. It was pretty windy, tailwind on the slightly uphill way out, with a couple of short side wind sections that were a little scary. At the start I was dreading/regretting the disc cover, but it was ok.
Saturday: 40 minute Crit 8 corners, figure-8 course, with the start/finish coming just half a block before a narrow 90 degree turn. - 24 started, 21 finished, I was 13th. I went for and won a prime in the middle of the race, using it as a test for my finishing positioning strategy. $20, yay! M. (our new young team mate) got in a 2-woman break with a strong rider from Psimet/Zilla (yeah, that Psimet) and stayed away for about 5 laps, so that was a perfect opportunity to just sit in. They got caught on prime lap, which neutralized my intention to try to get away when they got caught (it was too fast to get away). I saw the lap card at 5 to go, and then lost count, and thought we were done a lap before we really were, I sprinted and, uh, won the bell lap, dammit. I had to slow down for the corner right after the start/finish, and by the time I was through it I was surrounded by other riders, couldn't stay in the pack since I was gassed from my ill-timed sprint, so I drifted out the back and soloed in for 13th place. I was so focused on the strategy i forgot to look for the lap cards.
Sunday: 5 laps of a 5.7 mile loop with 500' climbing per lap. Course is essentially 4 parts, a gentle climb, a steep/stairstep climb, a moderately steep but twisty descent with one tighter than 90 degree corner (with a bonus gravel/dirt surface just in that corner), then a flatter section with a chicane & 2 right-turns, bringing you back to a slightly-uphill finish line. There are 2 sets of railroad tracks on the flat parts, both right after turns.
Lap 1, I was top 15-ish to the top of the climb, got dropped on the descent (argh! I'm such a chicken!) and chased back on in the flat & gentler climb section, with a lot of help from 2 other dropped riders. But i was cooked and couldn't stay with the group on the lap 2 steep climb. On the flatter part of lap 2 I was caught by another dropped rider (orange kit) and she & i worked together for laps 3 & 4, catching and being dropped repeatedly by another rider (who was a Cat 3, it turns out, there were several races a few minutes apart). Orange girl was a better descender & i was a better climber so I was dropping her on the steep parts and then she was reattaching on the descents. At the beginning of lap 5 i realized that my only hope of holding her off on the descent was to open a big gap on the climb, so I attacked right after the feed when she was drinking (that was unplanned, and not that nice, but I don't think it's "cheating"), and it worked, i was able to keep a gap and finish in front of her, for 13th/20 finishers.