Friday, August 10, 2007

Thursday Night Crit Report (8/9)

Last night was my first race in 5 weeks due to travel and race cancellations due to weather. I was a bit concerned that I wouldn't have enough "Go Go" in my legs because it is hard to simulate race conditions in training.

First off, it was hot as hell. Mid 90s again. You didn't have to warm up to sweat, you just had to step out of your car. I went to register, got my gear in order, and did my warm-up while trying to get my mind around the suffering to come.

At the start I had a good clip-in and went into the first turn in about 4th place. From there, the race was fairly slow for the next few laps. I think people were worried about burning out in the heat. There were lots of mini attacks in the middle laps that went nowhere. With about 7 or 8 laps to go, the pack was pretty strung out with two people having about a 15 meter gap. I was in about 10th place at that point, but feeling good. By 5 laps to go, it was all back together. For some reason last night they didn't have lap cards, but instead were calling the laps out. I was having a hard time hearing and had to ask other riders what the official was saying. The pace picked up slightly with 3 and 2 to go. We came through on the bell lap (0.8 miles to go) and I was in about 5th place and feeling pretty good. I decided I was going to leave it all on the road if at all possible. Right after the first turn I jumped hard with about 0.7 miles to go and was able to open a small gap. I put my head down and went as hard a pace as I thought I could sustain to the line. With 0.4 miles to go I still had a gap. I heard someone yell at someone else behind me for cutting them off or something to that effect. At about 0.25 miles to go, my gap was gone and I was a hurting unit. I was in such a mental limbo that I made a mistake in the last corner. I didn't take it tight and someone came through on the inside and was gone. To be honest, even if I did take it tight I think he would have still beat me. I sprinted with all I had left to the line and saw a few riders in my peripheral vision on my left. I think they nipped me at the line. I haven't seen the results yet, but think I finished in 4th. (Update: Results post shows 5th; 2nd in Cat 5). All things considered, it was a good race. Next time I will wait a bit longer to jump on the last lap.

The Cat 3/4 race which is run just before my race.

Me getting mentally prepared while eating a Power Bar.

I am the second rider from the right in blue and white.

Cooling down and reflecting on my bad decision.


Blogger lauren said...

hey! good job! it sounds like you've improved a bunch since that first one all those many months ago.


8/10/07, 7:48 PM  
Blogger Cyndy: said...

Sweet! love the pics. Your bike looks great.

8/10/07, 9:06 PM  
Blogger Them Country Folk: said...

Hey, good job!

8/11/07, 6:33 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

That's a big pack of riders. You should feel great about your results. Esp. in that heat!

8/11/07, 7:19 AM  
Blogger Mallie said...

Way to stick it out in the heat. Sounds like you stuck it out on the sprint until almost the very end.

8/11/07, 11:31 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Lauren - it is coming along nicely.

Cyndy - thanks

Country Folk - when is Sully racing?

Jeff and Mallie - 25 degrees cooler and it would have been perfect :)

8/11/07, 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Fendergal said...

There are no bad decisions, just decisions that don't work out. (Okay, there are some, but not this time!) You went early, found that you couldn't hold it. Have you upgraded to cat. 4 yet?

One note: almost everyone around you is in their drops. Practice riding in the drops!

8/12/07, 6:30 AM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

5th is great considering how little time you have had on the bike. A few more rides during the week and you will be leaving them in your dust.
Looking forward to seeing your blazing speed in person in a couple weeks!

8/12/07, 7:05 AM  
Blogger Danielle said...

You'll be ready for September Priority Health Crit! My race schedule is changing a bit, so I will be in town for sure.

8/12/07, 7:11 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Fendergal - true. I have been training in the drops more and more. I probably spend less than 1/2 the race now in my drops. Mostly the last part of the race.

Oldman - I look forward to the trip to MI and the rager that you are throwing.

Danielle - great! I look forward to meeting you. Are you and Toni going to race?

8/12/07, 7:30 AM  
Blogger bluecolnago said...

good job, chris! chalk it up to another learning experience and move ahead! oh yeah!

peace out, yo!

8/12/07, 3:35 PM  
Blogger bryan said...

the crit monster lives!

nice race -- keep cranking 'em.

8/12/07, 6:41 PM  
Blogger CyclistRick said...

Chris, you are so fast in that photo that you are a blur ...

Fendergal is correct; get to the drops. A practical reason: your arms prevent others from hooking your bars. A good measure to reduce the danger.

8/13/07, 1:15 PM  

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