Sea Otter Crit, Women's 4
I got a good warmup, and felt good when I lined up. The field was large, I'd guess over 30. I made a tactical error right off the bat on the line, because I was late to the line from the free lap, and I had sit on the last row (there were four or five rows). Then the RD told us the race info was wrong, we were to do 40 minutes, not 30! What??? I signed up for this because it was 30! Oh, well. At the whistle, I tried to to move up right away, hitting it pretty hard on the first "bump" (now or never), and I managed to pick up maybe five places. I picked off a couple of more in the first left turn, and then made it to mid pack in the hairpin. But, the acceleration coming off of that corner was brutal and I was redlined by the time we got to the top of the hill and started the short descent onto the back straight. I made up ground in the next set of corners, and was in the back 1/3 when we hit the front straight. I was trying to find a wheel, and just couldn't - the race dynamics were way different than a flat crit, and those young women just did NOT let up! By the top of the return hill on the second lap, I was pretty far off the back, and chasing was not making up any ground. I didn't have the speed or the strength and there was NO one to work with. When I hit that same point on the third lap, I decided that enough was enough, and I pulled the plug. I was seeing 300 watts plus, sustained, on those hills. That's not a lot to you guys, but for me, it's unsustainable. I hit a max of 647 watts some where - that is a sprint number, and I've only got a few of those in me for a given race.
This was a tough race, on a hard course with a young field rich with talent.
So - live to fight another day. I have a flat crit next Saturday, and then, soon enough, the senior races are going to be coming. Those are my A races, and I'm training for them. Today was fun, those corners were a blast, and as Ex told me, I can out corner most of those other women - and I did, each and every time I had the chance.