Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First Attempt at Crit Racing

Rather than trying to put together an eloquent report detailing a 40 min race where I was pinned and drooling on my top tube most of the time, I am just going to blurt out a few memorable moments.

The Cat 4/5 field of 26 racers felt “big” on our 9/10ths of a mile crit course and moving up or positioning for corners was not as easy as simply stepping on the gas. Often times I would have to simple wait for a hole and try to jump into it.
The speed of Cat 4/5 pack “felt” fast during the race and once I looked at the PT that was verified: 25.7 MPH average and a 30.5 MPH top speed. Yeehaw!

Riding at or near the front was my plan but that is easier said than done. At one point in the middle of the race, I could hear Joel Bingham yelling “Dave, get up to the front”. Sometimes I would find a hole, squirt up to the front, and then the pack would surge and I would fall to 15th wheel again just like that. Learning to anticipate the surge and then going with it would be a helpful skill. Near the end, I squirted up to the front a little too aggressively and found myself off of the front for the entire length of the back stretch…it was fun while lasted.

Our course was the perfect initiation to crit racing since nearly every corner could be taken at full gas…unless a knucklehead in front of you grabbed a handful of brake in the middle of the friggin’ corner. Don’t brake in the corner. Period. Nobody crashed but there were two close calls around me and it was obvious that as people get tired their concentration goes out the window.

Things got serious with 6 laps to go. The speed notched up a bit, riders were accelerating out of corners more aggressively, and moving around in the pack got tougher. Fun! Through all of this I was very alert and began to formulate my plan for total crit domination. Ha! I remember telling myself that 2 ½ laps to go would be the perfect time to attack...but several people had the same idea so the front of the pack surged and everyone was trying to move up and jockeying for the prime positions.

Does your throat always feel as if it is on fire after a 40-minute crit? I had the dry cough goign all night.


Ed said...

Did I miss it, how did you do?

Congrats no matter for enduring the suffering.


Dave said...

Hi Ed - I finished with the lead group, but not at the pointy end. :)

Kelly said...

Sounds like quite a blast..

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