Why do so many crits? Because I can? Because it is good training? More endurance for a 3 day stage race?
After this weekend I am questioning my reasoning for doing so many criteriums in a weekend. This weekend it was 3 crits (technically one was a circuit race) and last weekend it was 4 crits. No stellar performances from either weekend.
I won't go into much detail but I was actually happy with my riding in Des Moines 2 weekend ago. On a flat 1.5 circuit race, I was able to stay with the pack 'till the end. When it came to the sprint I finish down the result list. With half a lap to go, I was way out position. I had a lot of work to do to even think about a sprint finish. I was able to get into position but the legs were not primed for a sprint.
Later that Saturday, I competed in the Cat 1/2/3 race, same course for 75 minutes. It was fast and fun. Once the race started all the fatigue I thought I had, from the previous race, went away. It was like a whole new day. At the end if the race, I was with the bunch for a big field sprint. Just looking to get around the corner safely. No legs or nerves to sprint, with plenty of people easily riding past. I didn't stand up to attack the sprint.
Sunday, it was a hilly crit and again 2 crits that day. Well, the crit had only one major hill. I pulled the plug halfway through the Cat 3/4 which was the first race. The second race the Cat 2's Masters got off the front and I was by myself. I am actually happy with this race. I kept plugging away like I was the lead rider being chased by the pack. Eventually, a couple other riders bridged to me and only one of them could hang onto my wheel. He was able to get the better of me on the uphill sprint by a wheel. In the end he was the only Cat 3 to beat me in the Master's race everyone else was a Cat 2.
This past weekend. Happy to be with the pack but not able to finish strong. I did the masters race at 1:15pm Saturday. I had thoughts of not doing this race but talked myself into it. More training and a better chance of doing well by doing this race. Also, I had planned to not go hard and save myself for the main event, the 3s race. The race started fast. Everyone was together until the first prime. That is where the first bunch got away. On the next sprint Brady got away. I expected that. So I spent the next couple laps trying to bridge up to Brady. My first attack was hard an fast. I got away for awhile but was reeled by the chase group. I had one last hard effort to hang with the pack. Recovered, I tried to get away. This time more of a sustained effort. I stayed there for a few laps. I felt the speed was good and I like being on the front out of trouble. Two laps to go, I had one last dig to do something. I should have talked to Kevin Murry because he was on the front of the group about to do something. I went flying by and signaled for him to delay the "Murry Fury". There was no getting away from the group. I dropped off an finished outside the bunch sprint.
The next race was the Cat 1/2/3 race combined. I was hoping for a 3 only race. Got off to a good start at the whistle. I was right in the mix hanging out with the pack. I was hanging tough until a wreck happened in front of me. I could write a whole blog on this but the memories of my last high speed crash went through my head. Luckily I was close to the grassy center median. I missed hitting anyone. Then looked back to see others crashing from behind. Robert Greigg and Jon Vondracek suffered the most damage to their bodys. Found out later that John V. broke his shoulder blade and some ribs. Robert G had a type 1 shoulder seperation. All painful stuff. My bike was ok. My right brake lever was pushed in but otherwise fine. I was with the main pack nearly to the end but through some in attention got out the draft. I had no motivation to get back onto the group.
Sunday, another combined 1/2/3 race. Pioneers park GP, which has a hill that usually seperates who is strong and who is not so strong. I seemed to climb the hill pretty well. It was hard work yet I was able to get recovered before the next time up it. Last lap, I hit the bottom of the hill in good position on the outside of the turn. The hill is less steep on the left side but more exposed to the wind. I was hoping that someone else in front of me would take the same line. Not much help there. Granted there were about 8 people up the road so wee were sprinting for 9th.. With good speed to the top, I let off the gas as the hill flattened. I let at least 2 other riders easily pass me.
Wow a little more race description that I thought I had in me. Maybe some analysis next blog