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Original Merced Crit Race Report

Old 02-25-07, 03:55 PM
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Original Merced Crit Race Report

Well, this was my first race, and I'm not sure what to take away from it. My 305 refused to turn on, which was a bad start. The course was dead flat, and the road was fair. The temp was in the mid 40's and it was drizzling. The cat 4/5 field was 42 racers out of a possible 50, and at least 2/3rds were teams or 3 or 4. I'm not attached, and I'll admit I felt a little vulnerable. We were waterlogged at the start, but the mood was good. We all groaned in unison when the starter announced that we wouldn't have any primes, given the wet conditions. With good reason the organizers expected a accident filled race. I started in the second row behind the line, but could have been on the line. That was my first mistake. We took off quick, but the corners were slow because of the wetness. I was tentative, riders were sliding by me on either side. I certainly suffered the dreaded accordian effect, but my timidity was the cause. After 6 or 7 laps I was whistled dead. There was no breakaway, but about half the field was pulled by the time the last lap rolled around. There was a strong two man sprint to the finish from about 200 yards.

I think I was one of the only race virgins in the field. I'm happy to have finished without a crash, but it would have been nice to hang in until the end. Do you all find that you usually get dropped quick or not at all? There's no substitute for experience, and I'm eager to race again, but I wonder, if you get shelled consistently, how do you know when it's time to hang 'em up? Should I expect a better result when I race with all 5's?
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