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Crit Racing Part II(2 posts)

Crit Racing Part IIRockyMountainRacer
Apr 16, 2002 7:36 AM
Hi everybody! I thought I'd let ya'll know how my third ever crit went after all the advice I got from you folks in my last "crit racing" post. First of all I puked all over my bike while warming up, but fortunately only one other racer saw it. It was pretty gross--I guess a combination of nerves, too much coffee, and too much sports drink! It was pretty much just straight gatorade puke at this point since it appeared that I had digested most of my breakfast. But anyway, I felt fine after that.

I got a real good position on the edge of the start line, and when the gun went off I took off down the road, then soft pedaled a little untill a couple guys passed me because I did NOT want to lead the race. I settled in at about fifth place, and this felt like a perfect place to be--not too windy, but not too far back. I was much less nervous about riding in a big pack this time, it was also a smaller crowd than last week (about 60) and everybody seemed a lot less squirrelly. So I was much better about not letting people steel the wheel in front of me, but I still moved back a bit on each lap on the hill. This course had a brutal short steep hill that gave the legs a good acid bath every time around the course. I'm pretty good at climbing long steady hills that allow me to get into a rythm, but the short steep ones that make you deeply anaerobic are what kill me. Fortunately, I was able to recover after each hill interval on the downhill--untill the preem lap that is! As soon as the bell rang at the start/finish, people started attacking and we just hammered up the hill like never before (and we weren't exactly taking it easy on the other laps). This time, there was no recovery on the downhill because so many people were trying to get off the front. This is what cracked me. I was already dying from the hill, and the pack was strung out into a long single file line. I managed to hang on through the downhill and through the start/finish, but now I was near the back and we were coming up on the hill again, and I was in trouble! I had gotten no recovery the whole lap, and needless to say the elastic snapped for me on the hill that time. So then it was time trial time.

Still, I was happy because I had stayed in the pack for 20 minutes, whereas in my first crit I got dropped on the first lap, and in my second crit I got dropped on the second lap! So now I'm getting the hang of it, I just need to do a few more intervals to be able to hang longer. Thanks again for the advice everybody, it was all very helpfull! Next up this weekend is my first road race, and then in two weeks is finally my first mountain bike race of the season. I think I will be a faster mtb'er for being a part-time roadie this year.
re: Crit Racing Part IITroyboy
Apr 16, 2002 9:34 AM
Good for you. They are incredibly fun. What I find is a small contingent going for the primes. Sometimes they're a cup of coffee so what's it worth for you? They typically string out the front of pack and get reabsorbed. I typically forget about them but I know guys who go out just for them and forget the placings. Good for you not taking the first lead. It's completely insignificant. I gotta admist I have always wanted to ride right off the front on the first lap and stay there. Tough gig, but get out of sight with a couple of teammates, it might work!