My racing season officially started this weekend down in Lawrence, KS. As I posted before my goals were simple test out my form and stay safe.
Master's race, 11:00am (duration ~40min, 18laps) - First the conditions. The temp. was in the upper 40s but with a 15-25mph it felt like they were in the lower 30s. Seventeen of us "Old Guys" rolled up to the line. The Official made a few short comments and we were quickly off. Unlike a lot of races I did last year, I got clipped in quickly and was right up to the front of the pack. Good start... check.
Not much happend for the firt two laps. I was sitting comfortably about 5th wheel. Then came the first points prime. Since I was still riding in "Safe Mode" I wanted to go with the sprint but not contest the sprint. So, as the sprinters were catching their breath I rolled along side them. Good, I was relieved to still be with the group.
The second points prime split the pack. The lead group with about 15 seconds ahead. After one lap, I decided to bridge. So, I broke out from mid-pack and charged up the hill to catch. I knew I only had a limited time to get someones wheel before the headwind parts of the course. Made it!! Sweet.
I pretty much kept my position up near front off the pack, never put into real difficulty. I was loving it ... every time we would come around I gave my wife Christine the thumbs up and smile. She said I was up front too much. She was right, of course. I let my self get put into the wind on the front 6times.
I was up front on the last lap too. Not working too had but expending some precious energy. With two legs to go on the final lap I ducked behind some lapped riders. The group behind decided to make an attack for the finish. I was on the wheel behind the pack through the last turn. Then I started my sprint, passing about 4 people leaving only two in front of me. I wasn't going to catch the lead guy but there was the other guy within reach. I got up next to him, not knowing how long I could sustain my effort and then he cracked. I rolled across the finish line uncontested for second. Cruising speed, good, Sprint legs decent. Tactics... need work!
3/4 Race 2:30pm (duration ~70min, 28laps, 25peeps) - Conditions? About the same. This race was a bit faster but still not too difficult. There were a couple attacks, but they were all brought back. It was on the second points sprint that I lost contact with the lead guys. About 6 people got off the front and never looked back.
This time, I didn't try to bridge myself. There was a sizable gap. I was content to stay with the main group. The last lap came around I was happy to be sprinting for 7th place with the group. I got 8th.
Overall I am very happy with my performance.