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Race report: first crit(4 posts)

Race report: first critMarlon
May 3, 2001 3:38 PM
Well, bit the bullet and tried my first crit. Smallish, only about 20km, about 20 riders in the cat 5 div, but it was fun.

First lap, neutral lap. Two sandbaggers in front, then little ol' me sticking closer than chewing gum to them. Got a feel for the course, then 2nd lap, I decided to play around and take the lead just before a turn leading to a downhill. Gunned it, thought I'd start a little breakaway, but coming out of the downhill, I glanced behind me and oops... looks like I'm not quite as strong as I thought. After a bit of panting, I dropped back, and then the two sandbaggers took off on the uphill, never to be seen again. Apparently, us three were a lead group as I found out to my surprise, as the pack eventually absorbed me. A bit of cat and mouse chasing around, and I found myself pulling the pack. My first thought: "Cool! I'm leading the pack!" Second thought: "Damn. This isn't as much fun as I thought." Third thought after leading the pack for another lap: "This stinks." Suddenly, an old-timer took off with another guy in a flag jersey just barely hanging on to his tail, and it looked like a bridging attempt... but I was too tired. Rested a bit, then decided to take off on my own bridging attempt. No one followed, funny... As I zipped off, I caught up to the flag jersey guy drifting back, and I zoomed past. After a super-human solo effort, finally caught up to the old-timer - but where was the breakaway pair? Old-timer and I worked hard together, but in the end, it was too little, too late, and we were reabsorbed by the pack. Along with a third guy, we broke away with the finish less than 500m away and sprinted for the final placings, with me finishing in 4th. In the post-race cooldown, old-timer told me his story - essentially doing a heroic solo super-effort, he bridged the gap with the flag guy with the lead two, but flag guy zipped past and attempted to hang on to the lead two, and old-timer decided to rest a bit. The only thing was that flag guy couldn't hold on to the lead two when the two attacked together, and old-timer was too bushed to attempt an effort to stay with them. Eventually, he passed flag guy who quickly tired, and cranked on, in the hopes that someone would join him soon.

Lessons learned - attack on uphills and turns. Don't lead the pack more than you have to! Draft on downhills and on straightaways. And spin fast!
Sweet write upTremor
May 4, 2001 1:35 PM
I too would like to do a crit someday. I just hope that my first experience is half as cool as yours was. I hate to say this but I am scared of the unknown. I don't know what to expect and I usually hold myself to high standards. I just don't want to get into my first race and get whomped. I also don't want to be in a huge 30mph pile up, not because I don't want to get hurt, but I just dropped a lot of money into my new road bike last summer and I don't want to risk having to drop another lump sum into it for replacements.
Anyway, I congratulate you on your first crit and I can't wait to get up the cahonies to enter one.
re: Race report: first critDaniel H.
May 4, 2001 3:04 PM
I agree that was a cool write-up. I hit my first crit a couple of weeks ago. I dig the speed. although I must work on my sprint. Then mabee I can get a Win. Thanks for posting your race story, I like to hear about peoples experiences.
re: Way to hang in thereBig D
May 8, 2001 7:47 AM
I see a Victory soon in your future!!!