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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This is a personal thank you

All was good in my little carved out world of bike racing last night.
I want to give a personal thank you to my legs for showing back up.

 Last night at El Dorado Tuesday Night Worlds Criterium races was thick heat, with a nice large turn out of 23+ racers and a fast pace.
Garmin shows average speed for 1hr at 24.6 mph and max speed of 33.4 (no doubt, sprints).

I finally felt solid at a race since my vacation 4 weeks ago. I have had some great training sessions in the last 2 weeks and my food has been pretty spot on.
As said above we had a decent Tuesday night field of 23 + racers. All kinds of new faces and several of them came to make there presence be known.
It was pretty hot still at 6:15 p.m. when we got going. I started off in the front 5-8 guys and then slowly rolled all the way to the back just to see who was all there. I wanted to see who I recognized from El Do, or other local races, some I knew and some I didn't. What I do know is that the season is winding down rapidly and there are people that will likely be trying to gain points for category upgrades in CBR hosted races along with soon to be affiliated USAC.
You either have to be consistent and show up at nearly every race or absolutely dominate at 70 % of them.
I didn't do either this year. I have had some good races and some weak minded messes. But I have accumulated enough points in May to be moved to Cat 4.
My real goal was to be able to move to the Masters Cat 3 for next season, but I'm not sure that will happen. Will see how strong I can finish out these next 2 months or really 7 weeks.

Racing- I had already put it in my head that I wouldn't contend for the 1st prime sprint. I would stay up front and follow a lead out, but would not break out and line sprint. I wanted to see where my legs and lungs would be tonight. As it wound up I really should have sprinted. Without much effort I crossed the sprint line in a close bunch at about 6th position. My recover time was nearly nothing and my heart rate was about the same (considering).
Prime 2 came and my tactic was as usual, stay 6-7 man back in the center and break out on the out side as the frenzy got close to the line. I did this and again with very little effort I crossed in 4th (I think) I may have done better, but I don't know. My goal tonight was not mid race prime points, but over all points.
I was basically saving the majority of my legs for the finish line tonight.
The one thing I didn't factor was anyone coming off the front and staying there.
Sure enough, the lap after the 2nd prime sprint there were 3 guys that went off the front. Then another 2 that eventually bridged across to them.
Normally I don't get all consumed with this. The course is 1.7 miles long with exposed wind spots and it is hard as hell to stay away. But 5 guy's could cause some damage if they worked together. I tried twice to form a chase with a couple of guy's to pull them back. Twice we failed.
In an effort with 3 others we were able to bring back 3 of the 5 and 2 of them stayed away until the end.
 I say good freakin job to them !!
As for the final 2 laps it seemed a bit sketchy. There were still about 13 racers that had hung on all night. I would say 1/3 of them looked absolutely wrung out and would no way contend for the sprint. However there were the usual suspects that I knew would be in the mix come that last turn.
And as we approached the final left hand we were cracking the whip at about 30 mph. I stayed focused and hammering with 1 final gear to shift into. It was getting fast and there was at least 9 guy's pulling for the line. At about 30 meters and sooner than I would have liked, I hit that last cog and jumped out of the saddle to see what damage I could do.
When it was all said and done I came across the line in a photo finish as me and another guy pulled away from the others.
I ended up conceding to said racer at the line ( less than 3 treads worth of a difference). With 2 already off the front we were sprinting for the final podium spot of 3rd.

So 4th overall in a good size field with some hungry racers. I feel good about the effort. I don't feel as if I left much of anything out there. I do regret not going with the breakaway. But I'm happy I stuck with my game plan.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for the comments.

Train hard, train smart, be active.


  1. Great job, Craig! And I love reading your posts about strategy and decision-making during the races.

  2. Awesome man. Glad your legs came back and you were able to enjoy a strong race.

  3. Kate I got your message on the pedals. GREAT JOB !!

    TRI4 - Thanks, I was and am still pretty happy.

  4. Look how far you've come! Excellent job!

  5. Wow, awesome! I love reading your posts because they are so exciting.