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Second Race Report

Old 04-06-08, 04:16 PM
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slim_77
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Second Race Report

bold: brief

Second race ever: Burnham Racing Super Criterium, South Beliot, Ill (5/citizens-35 min~<15 miles)

I sat in the back 90%. On the last lap in turns 6-7 I moved up to mid-pack and took the inside lane to escape a crosswind (I was at 105% of LT already), settled down for the final turn, tailwind and 400m dash to the line. After holding the inside line around the turn, passing 3-6 people just by my position, I lit it up and took off finishing a distant 10/47.

I felt a bit fatigued from yesterdays race, so I did not warm up properly. I rode around for 30 min, a few moderate efforts but nothing other than spinning and enjoying the beautiful weather.

I now understand why a proper warm up is important. It took 3 laps for my legs to feel good, before that they were heavy which distracted me from the race, mentally speaking. I even wondered if I should drop it and go home. I didn't because of someone's advice here and for that I am glad. All this, however, could have been caused by a drop in the pace. (edit: I checked my Garmin 305 and there was no drop in pace! It was entirely a warm up! Wow, what a revelation. New racers, take note!)

There were two crashes one in lap 2 the other in lap 3 or 4 (I think). The field was large at 47 racers and the course was technical—not in a difficult way with sharp turns, the turns were broad and sweeping but there were many of them. Between turns 3 and 6, for example, they each came in rapid succession and the leaders made a direct line to maximize their effort, the middle and rear of the field however probably paid more attention to the edge and several riders in front of them rather than what was about to be going on up the course. As a result riders became surprised by the guy in front of them taking an unexpected line and accordingly used their brakes fiercely, causing a chain reaction. These were not just a touch here or there, as yesterday, but I had to clamp down hard several times (excluding the crash which happened at 10 o’clock and 9 o’clock from my position near the rear).

I did, at several different moments become fearful and tense—not good in a race. I overcame this by staying back. I reasoned that it was either there or at the front and I didn’t think I had the juice for that effort toward the front. (It would have required more juice because there was no respite from the wind, due to so many turns.) At the back I could pick the inside or outside of the riders in front of me and take the position of least resistance. Perhaps not the best idea because I had to play the accordion effect—but keeping up that effort was not really a problem at all. At one point I was in the middle of the field and I handled myself well, I think. I successfully fought the fear and tenseness that would have surely caused a crash—this was one objective for this race—pack management.

The final lap was great, I was more confident because I was finally loose and I had not crashed. My sprint was pretty good, topping at almost 37 (3mph higher than my best—though that was probably due to the tailwind and the slight downhill straightaway finish. Also, it is amazing what a short race will leave in your tank. I did not drop the sprint, like yesterday's RR. I *think* I could have pushed it even harder if I had a chance for 9th.

Many thanks to Burnham Racing for putting on a great event. I didn’t stay all day, but I though everyone was friendly and very professional. Every question was answered promptly and with courtesy. See the race technical guide on their site for a clue how to properly organize an event. (They even have a space ready for todays photos. nice!)

I also did the new rider clinic put on by Randy Warren (xXx-AthletiCo) and Luke ??? (xXx_AthlitiCo and www.chicagobikeracing.com). I thought it was great. It was informative and gave riders that don’t really have teams a chance to interact with other racers they will be competing against later that day. I met some people I'd know to look for in future races.

Last edited by slim_77; 04-07-08 at 05:00 AM. Reason: cause
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Old 04-06-08, 07:12 PM
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That course was brutally windy today.
I went off the front in the 4/5 and it was hell. But I won a T-shirt.
It sounds like you are doing really well for having your first two races back to back in the same weekend.
Congrats, and stick with it.
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Old 04-07-08, 04:55 AM
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Thanks man, and congrats on the T-shirt! You deserve it for facing that wind up front! I mean, it's not a year's supply of cliff bars, but it is recognition.

Did you guys have the same "problem" we did with mid/rear pack people not paying full attention to the next turn or two resulting in lots of confusion?

I think we all wanted to hold a wheel for longer than we could. That was difficult even for a second or two because of all the shifting and movement caused by so many turns.

Just curious how more experienced riders handled it...
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Old 04-07-08, 05:58 AM
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That happened alot more in the 4/5 then the 3/4 but it did happen. The back side of the course where there was the left hand turn heading into the harder right, and then into the U was by far the worst. People would come in too fast into the left, push everybody outside, and then the right hand turn was all screwy.
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Old 04-07-08, 06:20 AM
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Slim, nice report and congrats for staying in the pack.
I was in the same race as you but got spit out the back pretty quickly. If you seen the lone rider with the neon/purple steely and a slim bike rack in the back That was me
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Old 04-07-08, 01:01 PM
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I was in the UIC jersey, I think we chatted just before the race! Loose that rack man, thats what killed you!
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Old 04-07-08, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Frunkin View Post
That happened alot more in the 4/5 then the 3/4 but it did happen. The back side of the course where there was the left hand turn heading into the harder right, and then into the U was by far the worst. People would come in too fast into the left, push everybody outside, and then the right hand turn was all screwy.
it took us about half the race to sort it out. glad no one got too badly banged up.

That course was far more technical than many gave it credit for.
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Old 04-07-08, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by slim_77 View Post
I was in the UIC jersey, I think we chatted just before the race! Loose that rack man, thats what killed you!
The 2nd race, which was the 4/5 men I used my Trek Madone 5.2, same result. Only that I got spit out the back after about 1.5 laps. It's definitely not the bike or the bike rack. It's clearly the engine and my lack of skills.
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