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2022 race stories thread

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2022 race stories thread

Old 04-04-22, 08:15 AM
  #26  
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Tour de Murrieta Circuit Race, M 35+ open: 3/27, 8/50 (ish) total in the combined 35+/45+ field.

Short version: I screwed up the sprint but made the break and was a big contributor there. About 30s up on 9th place. Disappointed in my sprint, but happy with my legs and my racing overall - I always want to get in the break if possible and make it stick.

Long Version: The course is (big ring) rolling with light wind and some tricky corners, about 45 mi total in 11 laps. I came into the race feeling a bit under confident and under motivated given my escapades the day before, the annual San Diego MTB association "Arch" (archipelago) ride: 46 mi with 5,000' elevation and under a couple miles on pavement, mostly single track. It's a total blast, and against my better judgement, I did hammer a lot of it.

To add to that - I'm new to this field and in SoCal, the 35+/45+ field is stacked with state and national champs, current and former. These guys are tough.

A few laps in and I was feeling fine overall and aerobically, but definitely feeling sore legs over each little rise and with each surge. The start of the break was a bit haphazard, after the hill on lap 5 or 6, there was a little break of 2 up the road, and things were splintering trying to bring it back. The rider in front of me surged fairly hard and I went with him. A couple rollers later I look back and there is a gap between our group of 11 (I think) and the field.

Despite being such a big break, we worked together fairly well. I had great legs and was one of the major contributors to the pace and took extended pulls at many opportunities instead of just rolling through. With 2 laps to go, we had 45s, and we all knew we had it if we just kept it smooth.

In this race, your position going in to the last corner is often your finishing position, since the S/F is so close. Before two corners to go, I was on the back, thinking that someone a wheel or two ahead of me would go and slingshot me up to the front - mistake. After that corner, the top 4 or 5 started sprinting already for the final corner. Within 10 or so seconds, I realized I was off the podium. Sometimes, you have to sprint twice - one to get yourself in position, and again for a final kick. This is how the winners raced, but not me (mistake one). The second mistake was not realizing that there were only two other 35+ registrants in the break with me, so I actually was on the podium (oops). Instead I drove home haha. A bit disappointed, but mostly content with racing hard in the break.

I don't particularly enjoy sprinting any more and don't have the nerves for a bunch gallop like I used to - I must be getting old. So I've been doubling down on training so I can win from a reduced bunch instead. But I think I'm learning that I need to hone some of those skills because sprinting from a group of 8-10 is quite different then trying to win from a group of 3-5. Now I'll know for next time!!!
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Old 04-10-22, 09:08 PM
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First race ever (and first post ever):

Had been riding around ~150 miles a week through the end of 2021. Tested positive for COVID Jan 1, and then got a new job at the end of Jan which meant I didn't have health insurance for a long stretch... Basically didn't ride January, February and most of March. Still thought it was a great idea to sign up for my first race on March 27. Upon arriving, I changed races from 4/5 (42 miles) to 4/5 35+ masters (32 miles) given my lack of fitness and the sudden increase in the temps from ~70 to ~92.

After warming up around the location I realized only 3 minutes before the race that I ran over some glass and was more or less flat. Found a pump, spun the wheel around some to get the sealant moving, and somehow got it to hold air before the start. First 2 miles were a neutral start on what was basically a gravel road (real great when I had just saved myself from a flat moments before). The neutral start was averaging 23, which, even though I had no prior knowledge, was much faster than I expected and much faster than I knew I'd be able to hold even if I hadn't taken 3 months off. Ended up being dropped ~4-5 miles into the first go of the 10 mile loop. About 20 miles in I knew I was in last place, but just kept going since I had paid for it. Somehow caught 2 people in the last 10 miles. Ended up finishing 27/28, however there were 6 DNFs and 1 DQ.

It was nice getting to see how a race is actually set up. I wasn't expecting a great finish so I wasn't too gutted by the result, I was just surprised that the lowest category moved so quick. I've got a lot of work ahead of me this year. Next race is in 2 weekends and will probably end the same, but whatever.
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Old 04-11-22, 08:03 AM
  #28  
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keep at it hbc07. Even if you hadn't gotten COVID and taken a few months off - you'd still be getting faster and more adaptations just from being so new. Keep training and report back next time!
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Old 04-11-22, 08:43 AM
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Carson CBR criterium 4/10/22, Cat 2/3 combined: 3/45 ish (my guess)




Short Version:
Made and drove the break of 4. Was a primary motor in the break and driving it hard. Messed up the sprint (again), but still happy with my fitness and my racing.

(slightly) Long-er Version:

I came into this race (like all races) wanting to get in a break again, so I'm happy that I was able to do that for the second consecutive weekend. There were some early race shenanigans that never really materialized, then the final one was sort of like a trifecta of disorganized moves. I think this (eventual) winning move started about half-way into the 50 minute crit.

There was a solo rider OTF for a few laps, looking pretty good. We weren't exactly sitting up either so I figured OK, this guy's pretty good, so I bridged up to him. The two of us worked well together until we ballooned to like 4 or 5, and the bridge riders were pretty toast so we weren't gelling nicely, but I kept the pressure on. That group with us kind of morphed a bit from other riders bridging and some dropping back to the field that was not far back, it was kinda continuous/splintered and really confusing to figure out what was going on when I looked back. At some point, the field clearly caught on and I could feel the lull in pace since no one passed that group of 4-6 that was kinda-sorta OTF with me, and that group was both a bit tired and uninterested in pulling the field around, so I got clear without really making a hard acceleration. I was joined by 1 right away and then another 2 a lap or so in to the move, who had to bridge hard to catch us.

After that we were gone. We worked together fairly well. Two in the move (including the eventual winner) were clearly not as strong as there pulls were slower than ideal IMO and they got slightly gapped several times. Me and second place were the primary motors. Our gap ballooned to ~25s and once we had that in the lap cards, we knew we were good as long as we stayed smooth.

A solo rider actually managed to bridge up with 1 to go, same guy that I bridged to at the onset of this eventual winning move, strong dude. Going into the sprint, I again started from the back thinking I would slingshot up, but my breakmates started sprinting with two corners to go again. Thing is, they didn't really slow down and I only beat two out of what became 5 in the last lap. So second mistake two weekends in a row.

Overall I'm happy with my racing and my legs, and looking forward to more escapades off the front. I'm clearly fit enough to drive a move in cat 2 level field so I will be looking for more opportunities to do that. I did also race the 75 minute P/1/2/3 later for more training. Not much to write there, except a ~3 lap solo move in the final 20 minutes as the field was sitting up from catching a separate break. No L3gion to keep it lined out the whole race, otherwise that wouldn't have happened haha. It was fun to be OTF like that and have several cheering for me on the sides.

All in all, good times at CBR, looking forward to the next one!
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Old 04-11-22, 11:55 AM
  #30  
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Yesssssirrrr that's how you do it
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Old 04-11-22, 05:47 PM
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I surprised myself by making the top 0.02% in a closed road mass event 80km amateur race last week. As a solo rider that was my first time dealing with such a mass of riders so close to me, but it was much easier than I thought.

It was an event where rider categories consisting of hundreds of riders were released one after another with a few minutes in-between. I was lucky enough to start at the front of the pack and stayed with a small breakaway group of really strong riders for around 15k before sheltering for a bit in a big group from a previous category start we caught up to, nobody else form our category in sight behind us.

It then seemed natural to just jump ahead to the next pack of riders in sight at opportune moments, mostly on downhill sections where I would have to be on the brakes in the bunch, before sheltering from the wind again in another group for a few minutes. I then went hard for the last 20km and super hard for the last 2-3km.

I know it's not a good strategy to push it right at the get go, but that early breakaway probably meant that we had a good head start from the main pack who then had themselves as a race reference, whereas a small group of us was able to just move along with people from the race in front of us. Results suggest that barely anyone made up that initial gap.

Things I will change for the next race later this year
  • get an out front mount for my phone so I have a GPS/distance/HR reference, or a bike computer if Garmin brings out an 840 or something updated in time. I was flying blind.
  • drink more, as I didn't even finish my 700ml of water in a 2h+ race. Maybe eat a bite more on the go, only had a small musli bar. All the excitement!
  • get more sleep beforehand, it was a 5am wake and I did not manage to sleep early enough
great fun though, next one will be a 160km/2000m event.
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Old 04-13-22, 09:06 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
keep at it hbc07. Even if you hadn't gotten COVID and taken a few months off - you'd still be getting faster and more adaptations just from being so new. Keep training and report back next time!
Thanks for the encouragement! It was a real eye opener, but I didn't get discouraged from it. It just helped me see the amount of work and effort I need to consistently put in. Next race is 1.5 weeks out, and I have a multi day trial (I'm a lawyer) that I have to travel for right before it. So that's great.
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Old 04-15-22, 12:48 PM
  #33  
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Du next weekend. I put this here as the TT bike is involved. I put that funky integrated hydration on the front of the Trinity. The TT race wheels are fitted. I swapped in elastic laces in my Giro bike shoes and my new Saucony carbon running shoes. Yeah, I bought some. I swear, compared to $80 trainers, they literally in a jog around the store feel like cheating. And that's coming from a person who loves all things aero for TT racing. Like, what in the world.

Going to target 07:20 for the two 5k's and 26mph for the 40k bike leg.

No matter what, it'll have been a phenomenal training block for the TT regional come time. I'll drop the running to only a couple short/hard ones in a week and throw that volume into the TT bike itself.

Either way, CTL isn't everything but it's at a record for me. Run pace is all records, bike power is all records.

I did a brick yesterday at lunch run/bike/run with the road bike, and man the hard run does eat some bike ftp. I intentionally "over biked" by going at it for the bike part just to get fatigue in the legs to see how they felt after doing that and how to cope. It was fine. But man, I lost easily 15w on the bike TT off normal given the hard run first.

So, we'll see how it goes. I won't pre-ride the course, as I've ridden 20mi of the 40k a dozen or so times on training rides. A super common rolling lake road out/back.
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Old 04-19-22, 11:51 AM
  #34  
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Fiesta Island Time Trial
Men 70+ 1of2 33:18
20Km on a 4.1 mile loop (no turn around) flat terrain.
Windy with 8 mph headwind on the front section. The back section which is usually windy and slower was fast.
Overcast with very light rain/mist upon arrival but okay at start of race

When we arrived at the course, there was a light mist with damp roads and the drive on the freeway was rainy at times. I registered and picked up my number but was unsure if I was going to race. As the sun came up, the mist stopped but the wind picked up and it was coming from an odd direction for this course. We would start into the wind coming from slightly from our right and pick up a tail wind on the longer back section.

My warmup was a meh but I got to the start feeling okay and my legs felt solid. My competitor started 30 seconds ahead. I got an uneventful start and caught my 30 second man about 3 minutes into the effort.

I was going for a big negative split with the idea of more power into the wind and more average power each lap. And that is how the race played out.

I had my max power on for the final 500 meters that ends in a narrow coned corridor for racers finishing. Guess what. Some Fred, non racer, was casually riding in the lane as I was coming in hot. I was braking and screaming to get out of the way and the race organizers were shouting at him. I rolled across the finish line. This is a closed course…or supposed to be and there are signs everywhere.
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Old 04-23-22, 10:51 AM
  #35  
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Win.

PR for first 5k. 22:06, 23.5mph, 22:46. Bike leg is off, on the way in there's a solid 1.5mi downhill I would normally rip in the 60/12 combo. The short course tri folks were on the way back in front of us since our du course was almost a 40k. Cars were backed up forever behind them. I easily lost a minute or more behind traffic. I had to under-bike a good bit for a good 2nd run. But, the watts per mph was nice. 226w for 23.5mph on a rolling course with 4 speed bumps you can't bunny hop.

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Old 04-24-22, 08:00 AM
  #36  
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BTS, well done. You definitely won the sock and shoe podium as well.
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Old 04-25-22, 07:27 AM
  #37  
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I'll take the prize too. Winners of the actual Olympic Tri only got a single beer can and a little 4" tall beaver statue. I'll take the 3 extra beers instead of the beaver statue.

I did get curious and including some Team USA sprint and oly distance folks had the 2nd best bike split of the day. I would have had best if not for the cars holding me up. The run is a different story. Those suckers were running about 5:40 miles for their 10k Olympic runs. To my pedestrian 7:05 minute miles.

Then again, I would hope that they would be if they're elite.

A bit surprised their bike splits were "that slow". I thought the Ironman pros typically average about 26mph or so for a full 112mi split? And faster still for a half IM.
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Old 04-25-22, 08:03 AM
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burnthesheep Here is a book you may find interesting. https://www.amazon.com/Iron-War-Scot.../dp/1934030937 I liked it.
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Old 04-25-22, 04:08 PM
  #39  
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2nd race in the books. Cat 4/5 in the Crocket Classic Omnium in Crockett, TX which consisted of an 8-mile TT Saturday morning, 25 minute crit Saturday afternoon, and 52-mile road race Sunday. First time doing a TT or a crit.

TT: I was generally happy with the TT, though I think I could have pushed more but was worried about not leaving enough in the tank to finish. Ended up at just under 21mph, but think I would have broken 21 if it weren't for the 15-20mph crosswind the entire time.

Crit: Our race was delayed due to the race before us having a bad crash and closing the course for 20 minutes. Due to the delay, they also shorted the race from 30 to 25min. Was essentially a rectangle around downtown with corners 1 and 2 flowing into each other like a large semi circles, and then 3 and 4 being 90s separated by ~150feet. Corner #3 you were screwed no matter if you went tight or wide. Wide there was loose gravel. Tight there were dips and bumps that could send you flying into the people that went wide, and unsurprisingly there were crashes every race on this corner. I started in the back which was not good, and got dropped by the end of the first lap when things stretched out. I held on until ~16 minutes in when I got pulled. Now that I have one under my belt, I know what to expect and will be comfortable being a bit more aggressive getting into the middle of the pack, but still need to get comfortable with the jostling about.

Road race: 3 17-mile loops on a flatish course (~400ft elevation per loop). Held with the pack until a bad corner 22 miles in caused a gap (averaging 24.5 through this point). Another guy and I worked together for 4 miles (holding 28-30) to try and catch up, but the moment we made contact another attack went off the front and I had nothing left. A number of people had dropped off by this point, but no idea how many. All I know is that after the final intersection on the last lap, I had a sheriff escort the last 6 miles as I was the last rider on the course. I really wanted to quit after the second lap, but felt like I owed it to myself to suffer through the last lap on my own since I hadn't quit a race yet and suffer I did that last lap. Ended up crossing the finish line at 20.9mph. Big improvement after my race I posted about a month ago with 32miles @ 17.5mph and getting dropped 6 miles in.

How did I do compared to everyone else? No idea. Results still aren't posted for the crit or road race, and I don't know that the TT results that were posted are accurate. I know I met my goal of not being last. Of the 47 that started the TT (out of the expected), I was around 40th. I have no clue how many people got pulled before me on the crit, or how many people quit before me on the road race. I know I wasn't near contention for anything, but it still sucks not knowing how I did overall. Regardless, I'm still happy with how I did and that I did it.

My journey from back of Cat 5 upward is getting put on a slight pause as I need to put in some level of effort for training for a half marathon in June with my wife.

Last edited by hbc07; 04-25-22 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 04-26-22, 08:00 PM
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congrats on your first omnium/stage race hbc07! Great report.
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Old 04-27-22, 04:56 AM
  #41  
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This season has been interesting and kinda of screwed up. Races canceled by event promoters, injury, and the general chaos associated with being a professor at the end of the semester.

I was taken out (chopped) on the last lap of our local weekly training crit. After a visit to the emergency room and ortho consult...it seems like my knee took the brunt of it. Potential torn MCL and PCL tear/damage I can't afford the MRI even with health insurance through the university I teach with (I've been a healthcare provider for 8 years, so gotta love that!). The intervention for the injury is essentially rest and PT, so it is what it is.

I had a track heavy focus this year, so we will see if I'm able to put that type of strain on my knee before the end of the season.

Stay safe out there!

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Old 05-21-22, 12:38 PM
  #42  
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It was too hot to wear both socks and the shoe covers today for the regional TT, if that says anything. That cost me an identical time to last year by a couple seconds lost, on about 10w less power. But, the aero/power ratio is better this year.

Two things, not heat adapted and that duathlon mileage running cost me some fitness I suppose.

I still won. Was just 30 sec's faster than the 1/2 winner despite the slow time. 26.2mph with the u-turn. Whatever. Goal mostly met. If I had my target power I would have gotten a PR easily by a minute. But the heat it just wasn't in the cards. Everyone was suffering in the heat. My skinsuit literally felt 2lbs heavier of sweat when I took it off.

If I had to do it again, I didn't heat adapt enough and didn't regain some bike fitness from the running fitness enough. That duathlon was a 110% effort and amazing planned race execution. Today's was a C+ grade.

I'll take the win, but no PR sucks.
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Old 05-23-22, 03:34 AM
  #43  
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Did a midweek 2/3/4 crit last week (30 in the field). Lots of cat 2 hitters in there; all young guys too. There was some traffic after about 10 minutes that I didn't filter through and a separation to a group of 10. At that point I was really pissed off because I was feeling good and thought I could have been there. I decided to hang in there and try to drag them back. Ultimately I got off the front chasing another 2 in the the gap and stayed away until the finish. 11th place.

Considering the strength the of the field, and rolling a number of laps solo, with a group chasing, I was actually pretty happy with that. With the same guys, and some saavy on my part, I think I could go top 5.
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Old 05-23-22, 09:18 AM
  #44  
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The post mortem on the TT..........the race was all headwind/tailwind for most of the event. It's a big loop, but the loop is oblong in that direction. The course runs dominantly outbound towards the southwest and inbound to the northeast. The wind Saturday was out of the southwest.

My better time last year was with a cross wind on the course instead.

Plus the power lost to the heat. I simply didn't do enough warm workouts outdoors before the one this year and we had a cool spell of weather this year then it got damn hot for the event, so a bad combo.

Lesson learned on the heat adapting I guess.
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Old 05-23-22, 09:20 AM
  #45  
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Did 2 crits this weekend. 1st one was a Cat 4, plan was to latch on to someone going for a break but halfway through the race the guy 3 bikes in front of me went down. I was able to brake and then jump off into the grass. So I spent half that race going full bore trying to catch the group so I didn't get pulled.

2nd one I went off the front halfway through, but was caught, but I won a prime! In the last lap, tried to get away, but I was swarmed on the last stretch.

I'm going to have to evaluate how well these breaks are working because I suspect I need more separation power. Biggest issue really is you need 2-3 guys to pull it off, so I need to be up front more and be aware when it happens. Sitting in for a sprint has its own issues, I'm slow twitch dominant with a poor sprint, so I'm sure being smart and crafty in the final sprint may get me a top 10, but I don't think it's going to put me at the top of the podium.
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Old 05-23-22, 10:33 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
The post mortem on the TT..........the race was all headwind/tailwind for most of the event. It's a big loop, but the loop is oblong in that direction. The course runs dominantly outbound towards the southwest and inbound to the northeast. The wind Saturday was out of the southwest.

My better time last year was with a cross wind on the course instead.

Plus the power lost to the heat. I simply didn't do enough warm workouts outdoors before the one this year and we had a cool spell of weather this year then it got damn hot for the event, so a bad combo.

Lesson learned on the heat adapting I guess.
Congrats on the win. How big was the field, category and length of the race? Why was the 1/2 slower? I assume the regional is the state championship?
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Old 05-23-22, 12:37 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Congrats on the win. How big was the field, category and length of the race? Why was the 1/2 slower? I assume the regional is the state championship?
40k-ish. I asked two months before the event if the organizer could move the one out-back leg another like hundred yards out, as it's technically annoyingly just shy of 40k.

I won the 4/5 open, nobody showed for 3, and only two 1/2's ran. One 1/2 DNF'd. No idea why, mechanical or just bad day and bailed. A 1/2 beat me and a master's category 1/2 also beat me, overall.

Both not by much, less than a minute.

It's the championship for NC/SC or something, they call it the USAC Regional TT.

Either way, weekend chosen was REALLY bad. There were apparently more than one legit road race happening in the region that weekend, and a crit, and a local smallish TT out in the western part of the state. This years turnout was literally only 1/3 the participation of last year.

Either way, a failure of the TT format in the US is that it is road mass start category based. So you could be a professional triathlete who turns 30+mph time trials but you wind up entering into cat 4/5.

There's plenty faster Cat 1/2 and 3's around here, they just didn't show up this year for one reason or another.
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Old 05-23-22, 12:37 PM
  #48  
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got my 2nd top 10 in a row, I'm basically pro now! placed 9th, which was great, I was outsprinted for 8th though lol. The longer story on that is that the 60+ field started a minute ahead of us, which we ended up overtaking during the first lap, but the main group caught up to 3 of us right before the finish, so I had to deal with a bunch of old guys sprinting for their podium. Was hanging with the lead folks halfway through, but a few of us couldn't maintain the power the lead guy was doing up the KOM hill (he is also a top 10 finisher at mt washington), wish I had stepped on the gas a little harder to not get gapped, but that just gives me something to keep working on.
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Old 05-25-22, 02:56 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
Did 2 crits this weekend. 1st one was a Cat 4, plan was to latch on to someone going for a break but halfway through the race the guy 3 bikes in front of me went down. I was able to brake and then jump off into the grass. So I spent half that race going full bore trying to catch the group so I didn't get pulled.

2nd one I went off the front halfway through, but was caught, but I won a prime! In the last lap, tried to get away, but I was swarmed on the last stretch.

I'm going to have to evaluate how well these breaks are working because I suspect I need more separation power. Biggest issue really is you need 2-3 guys to pull it off, so I need to be up front more and be aware when it happens. Sitting in for a sprint has its own issues, I'm slow twitch dominant with a poor sprint, so I'm sure being smart and crafty in the final sprint may get me a top 10, but I don't think it's going to put me at the top of the podium.
I was fighting for points last year in crits, and did a bunch of them. They were all 3/4s and the points went 10 deep. I found that even with a relatively not great sprint, it was hard to podium, but if I positioned well, I could do top 6. My relative slow twitch strength got me to the finish a bit fresher and it was great practice getting better at executing the finish. Maybe try breaking a lot earlier, or a lot later. Play around with some different tactics.
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Old 05-26-22, 09:00 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Yep View Post
I was fighting for points last year in crits, and did a bunch of them. They were all 3/4s and the points went 10 deep. I found that even with a relatively not great sprint, it was hard to podium, but if I positioned well, I could do top 6. My relative slow twitch strength got me to the finish a bit fresher, and it was great practice getting better at executing the finish. Maybe try breaking a lot earlier, or a lot later. Play around with some different tactics.
I suspect you're right, that just being there without great power but good FTP could keep me there for points. I've only tried it once (and I was too far back).

Going early is a tough thing to figure out, a lot of it is 'if they allow you to go', timing, and help. Last race I probably should have gone about 1 block (400 meters?) later as there was a hill and I could have broken up the sprint a tad.

When I go to the 50+ 1-3 it's probably going to be different as the 3 times I've raced in that it was more organized with actual team assignments, more sprinters but less breakaway racers.
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