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Worst race EVER (mine, Attleboro crit)

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Worst race EVER (mine, Attleboro crit)

Old 07-21-07, 12:08 PM
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92degrees
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Worst race EVER (mine, Attleboro crit)

Here it is. If I screwed up, tell me. I can take it. I think.

Attleboro Criterium
20K

My motivation was a bit low today. I admit that. Maybe that set up the following, or, maybe not. Attleboro was conveniently located so that I could race on the way to our family vacation. Having the family, including dog, along added an extra level of stress, expectation, and disorganization. I admit that too.

Got to the race and set my son and wife up at the kid's race, got my numbers and had a good 40min warm-up on the road. Heading to staging and we were told we could take a lap. Excellent -- I've never raced here before and you can't see much of the course from registration. I take my lap and when I get back to the start/finish there is no one on the line and no officials. A bunch of us take a second lap. Even better. Get back to the start/finish and now the field is lined up 2-3 deep. 3 deep on the outside of the course which seemed preferable as there is a short hill and sharp right immediately after the start.

I try to line up as far to the outside as I can without being 4 rows back. As we're getting our instructions, I notice the guy in front of me. I say this at the risk of sounding judgemental or arrogant, or something -- but this guy doesn't make me comfortable. Let's call him Other Racer. Other Racer is wearing a MTB jersey and is a bit heavy. I've been shelled by guys like that before. Other Racer is wearing MTB shoes. I'm not happy. I think about pulling out and lining up somewhere else, but it doesn't seem possible.

We get "go." Sure enough, Other Racer has trouble finding his pedals. The best thing I can say is that at least I expected it and didn't run into him. I am not panicked. Not getting into your pedals or being behind the guy that doesn't happens. But Other Racer is not accelerating. The field is passing us quickly on the outside and almost as quickly on the inside. I'm getting shot to the back.

I need to move up immediately. There are plenty of gaps, and maybe I was slow to react today, but every time something seemed to be opening up the guy in front of me would brake or someone next to me would swerve. It was crazy sketchy. Like nothing I've seen before.

The following happened over the next few laps.

Coming to the top of the hill into the right turn I'm comfortably 30-something in a field of 35 or so. The two guys in front of me, racing for 28th or something, touch wheels for no reason at all. They go down. I manage to avoid them while getting nicely gapped. Worked hard to get back on.

A guy flats a few wheels ahead of me. Whoever it is does not put a hand up, does not sit up, makes no move to get out of the peloton, nothing. For a very long few seconds, it seems like he's going to race on his flat. I have enough time to think of several possible things to call out. Finally I just yell "flat?" and a guy sits up.

A guy breaks his pedal. I didn't see what kind it was as it slid in front of my wheel.

Now it gets fun.

Still racing at the back and enjoying the full slinky effect, I come over the hill and start to work hard so that I might rejoin on the slight downhill at the back of the course. I'm 30th or something. We are strung out. No wheel in front of me. A guy ahead and to my outside -- way outside by maybe 15 feet. I Pick my line going into corner #2 and apparently Other Racer, who is sucking my wheel, decides that this is a great time to pass me on the inside. He is unable to do that. He has to brake before I even get to see his wheel. He is screaming at me "Don't do that again!" and many other things. I'm distracted. And getting gapped in a huge way. I ignore him, maybe say something back, but basically put my head down and hammer to try to catch the race.

Coming into turn #3, maybe 45 seconds later, Other Racer again tries to make the huge pass for 30th place on my inside. Only this time he puts his left hand out and pushes me aside by shoving my hip. WTF?

At this point I suffer what I like to think of as a complete loss of cabin pressure. I'm sure I yell something. He's yelling. I end up soft pedalling until he's ahead of me.

I would pull out here but my son is watching, and my wife and I make a big deal with him about doing your best even when things aren't going your way.

I'm basically out of this race after 10?K. I TT around for a bit. Pick up a couple of dropped riders, we work together, poorly, for a few laps.

Not DFL, I don't think. Not what I was looking for either....That's about all. Just had to vent.
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Old 07-21-07, 12:23 PM
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Oh, props to the kid. He took the podium.
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Old 07-21-07, 01:42 PM
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Unless you are packed in the middle like sardines on a tight course, there is no excuse for some guy putting his hand on your hip like that--- it is like sprinting for 40th place.
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Old 07-21-07, 07:00 PM
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Hands on hips are just letting you know they are there in this part of the world. Why would it distract you?

"but every time something seemed to be opening up the guy in front of me would brake or someone next to me would swerve. It was crazy sketchy. Like nothing I've seen before."
It is more likely that everybody else was doing pretty much what they normally do but you were not on the ball. It happens sometimes, particularly if you are distracted by other things.
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Old 07-22-07, 07:14 AM
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Yeah, I've gotten and given the hand on the hip before. This was a shove.

I agree that distraction didn't help me to improve my position.
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Old 07-22-07, 08:04 AM
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Sounds like it just wasn't your day, in spite of the gapping and crashing in front of you. When you're "on," you'll attack around a crash and go to the front of the race. If you didn't have the juice to do that, you weren't going to finish in front regardless of your pack position at the start.

Good job fighting with what you had, staying in it, and getting some great training in.
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Old 07-22-07, 03:32 PM
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okay, i have a story from today to make you feel better. it was my worst race ever. oh well. so it started out like a regular crit. i registered, examined the course, etc. felt pretty good. was also motivated by the fact that it was my last race as a 4 (cat 3 time, woohoo). i get to the front of the line ready for the start. we get the horn of moordoor horn to start the race. i take my typical one pedal one push start, but get pushed by someone next to me. i have a difficult time getting clipped in and fumble all the way to the back. while trying to catch up, i realize that i am having a difficult time even keeping up. i make it into the draft, but there is still a lot of resistance. meanwhile, there is a really sketchy rider ahead of me, and gaps are opening up with those guys that are just done racing 5's and catting up to the 4's. arrghh. then out of nowhere, a guy crashes by himself in the turn. he isn't going too fast, he seemed to snap the bars to the opposite direction and flipped up his backwheel. i come almost to a complete stop, then rush to catch back up. i am in major difficulty trying to get up there, and we are going...23mph? what is going on here? i pull off the course on the last turn extremely furstrated to find that my rear brake was rubbing hard. this is the second time i have done this. very disappointing day.
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Old 07-22-07, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by fly:yes/land:no View Post
okay, i have a story from today to make you feel better. it was my worst race ever. oh well. so it started out like a regular crit. i registered, examined the course, etc. felt pretty good. was also motivated by the fact that it was my last race as a 4 (cat 3 time, woohoo). i get to the front of the line ready for the start. we get the horn of moordoor horn to start the race. i take my typical one pedal one push start, but get pushed by someone next to me. i have a difficult time getting clipped in and fumble all the way to the back. while trying to catch up, i realize that i am having a difficult time even keeping up. i make it into the draft, but there is still a lot of resistance. meanwhile, there is a really sketchy rider ahead of me, and gaps are opening up with those guys that are just done racing 5's and catting up to the 4's. arrghh. then out of nowhere, a guy crashes by himself in the turn. he isn't going too fast, he seemed to snap the bars to the opposite direction and flipped up his backwheel. i come almost to a complete stop, then rush to catch back up. i am in major difficulty trying to get up there, and we are going...23mph? what is going on here? i pull off the course on the last turn extremely furstrated to find that my rear brake was rubbing hard. this is the second time i have done this. very disappointing day.
Maintain your gear.
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Old 07-22-07, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Bantam View Post
Maintain your gear.
Good insight.
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Bring the pain.
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Old 07-22-07, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bantam View Post
Maintain your gear.
i think it is worse than just maintaining gear. i keep my gear in pretty good shape. the brake is tightened to the frame correctly, i was just dumb when i was handling the bike before the race. thus, i feel the problem is a lack of brain power, which i think is more systemic in nature.
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