Saturday, January 5, 2008

Thank you sir, may I have another (Masters Championship Crit) 20070805)

Well then. Yesterday had what I consider to be an awful performance in
the road race, but really, it was a gorgeous setting (Diamond Valley ==
beautiful), we had a BBQ at Jesse's Tahoe cabin (awesome man, wonderful
time, thanks) and after the race we actually spent the rest of the day
at the beach under clear skies with enough heat that it was perfect.

That pretty much lays to rest all the bad feelings from the road race.
So let's go racing! James Bauer and I wake up at ass o'clock (that'd be
4am I think) and start practically free-basing carbs like sugar junkies.
We drive to Minden, we get our nifty spandex on and roll around for a

First, I have to say, this is the best crit course ever. It was
dreamlike smooth. They had broomed away even the leaves so it was
perfectly clean. And it was only 4400 feet over sea level, which for
some reason felt much more than 20% better than yesterday's 5500 feet.

Only 11 people showed up though, and 3 of them were from Team Spine.
This is a small race, folks, there's not going to be anywhere to hide.
And those Spine guys are strong. And it's not like I had a 70 mile high
altitude race the day before...oh wait, I did. So...this could hurt.

One of the Spine guys goes from the gun and we start chasing. A second
Spine guy bridges and now there's two off the front. Drat. We continue
chasing. We catch them and (surprise!) the third Spine guy who had been
resting in our draft while we chased counter-attacked and was away. Well
then. Guess we should chase more. Weeee

Finally we gave up. 4 men got away in total - 2 Spine guys and 2
randoms. We toodle along. One of the randoms cracks out of the breakaway
so there's only three up the road now. 2 Spine. They lap us, and I learn
something important.

If someone laps you, and they come through the pack and attack again and
are then off the front, you can leave the pack and go up to them and sit
in their draft, but you MAY NOT work with them. As a lapped rider, you
are only a passenger on the leading riders. I didn't pull because I
thought that was the case but I asked the officials later to confirm it,
and them's the rules.

So now we have a pack sprint coming, and I've got some pride so I want
to do well. I've set it up in my mind perfectly, practicing the fast
lines through the chicane before the final straight. Thinking about
exactly where I can start and still hold the speed. I'm ready to go even
though we're just sprinting for 4th. We get to the corner before I'm
going to start my sprint and POW! The 3rd Spine guy (the one that wasn't
in the breakaway) has already started his sprint.


So he has a little gap on me as I get my sprint going and I got beat by
every Spine team member in the race. That's impressive, kinda Smile

I got 2nd in the pack sprint at least, that's something.

There I learned my second lesson. For each corner you have to stop
pedaling in during a sprint, add 50 meters to the distance you can
normally hold a full power sprint. That little rest helps, and you
should go earlier.

No offense to James (who will get better billing in the NCNCA District
Championship RR race report...) but he had a fairly anonymous race. At
the start, before the main break was away he was mixing it up big and
almost made the move, but once it was established we were both just
passengers. c'est la vie.

As with the road race, for the criterium, maybe next year...

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