Enjoyed this race in 2010 so I was looking forward to doing it in 2011. Had not raced since the Merco RR in March and hadn’t lined up for a crit since the last EB in February. So my main goal for this event was to get back into the flow of racing.
The course is run counter-clockwise. From the S/F line it goes: Short straight to a hard 90 deg left, short straight to another 90 deg left, long back stretch on chewed up pavement (with a head/cross wind) to a 90 deg left, short straight again to a 90 deg sweeper, another straight section leads to the left/right chicane then straight back to the S/F line. It’s a fun course in my opinion but it sure gave the E4 bunch fits.
After watching Chris and Tony finish up in the 5′s race the officials quickly got the 4′s lined up. After they cleared the course we were off. After the first few corners I already had a feeling of how the race would go. Not good! Typical E4 insanity. I sometimes think the 4′s need mentors more than the 5′s. Every turn seemed dicey. Dudes yelling and complaining the whole time. Kept me on my toes for sure. Spent the first few laps settling in and finding my sweet spot in the corners. The sweeper seemed to confuse a lot of guys. I found the safest way through the chicane was to enter the left on the outside which put me on the inside of the right. The fastest way through seemed to be more towards the center. They had a bunch of prime laps in the middle of the race and that lined it out a bit. For the most part we were all bunched up. Only saw one break get a gap but they weren’t away for long. The race went buy very quickly for me and I was surprised when I saw five to go. Bided my time and when we hit 2 to go I started to make my way into a better spot. I was somewhere in the middle of the bunch when the bell rang. Moved up a bit more as we went up the backside. Coming through the sweeper the last time I wasn’t in position to contest the win but felt I had a decent shot at a top ten. Decided to take the fast line through the chicane. That’s were I made a mistake. As I entered the right of the chicane I glanced at my 5:00 to see if I had room to move. Guys were cued up behind me so I held my line tight. Coming out of the corner a bunch of guys went down right in front of me. With nowhere to go and not want to make any crazy moves I was caught up in the wreck. Luckily I was able to due some nifty bike handling and come away relatively unscathed. An abrasion on my right leg was the worst of it. Did get some nice tire rubs and a chainring tattoo on my left leg from someone else. Bike was OK and more importantly the kit was untouched (first race in it). Got up clipped in and rolled across the line solo in 36th.
The way the race unfolded a crash seemes inevitable. Seems like so many guys are missing the basic cornering fundamentals. You couple that with people not having any spacial awareness and you get a scary situation. Next up the Wente Crit… OH Crap!
Team Paceline until 6:30pm, 2 technique sprints, stop and discuss our plan: four 5-lap “points races”, sprint to the finish line and counting points in your head. One full lap of recovery. Modifiers: try to win every sprint if you want to go hard; sit in the draft if you don’t want to go hard; try to take 4th in every sprint; all sorts of options. Bring a friend! Larry
Thursday Night Training – April 7 – paceline warm-up until 6:30pm, 2 form sprints, 4 for real sprints (2 to 3, and 4 to 1) over 2 laps, then “time trial” practice for the rest of the night, Time trial practice goes like this: a) know exactly what you want to get out of the workout, 2) the pack will work to set a consistent pace (~23mph), 3) you go flying away from the group for as long as you like (half lap, one lap, multiple laps). If you are in for a lighter workout then simply sit in the pack and don’t work to set the pace. EVERYONE can get the workout that they want! Larry