Sunday, April 01, 2007

Greenville NC Cat5 Crit report: Humble Pie

I'll keep it relatively short today.

A really strong guy who won yesterday's race (which I did not enter) decided to sprint away from the group right from the start. My teammate and one other guy were the only ones smart enough to catch him and hold on. I simply brain-farted at the start. Mr. Strong Guy then proceeded to pull the breakaway group THE ENTIRE WAY. I got caught in no-mans land between the breakaway and the field and stayed there for what seemed like an eternity (maybe 10 minutes). There may have been another guy or two between me and the breakaway but I do not know. Because lapped riders were not pulled (and because they took the liberty to latch on to whatever group they could), it got extremely hard to tell who was where.

When it was obvious that Mr. Strong Guy was going to be able to continue to stretch the lead without any help whatsoever from the other two riders in his wake, I finally raised my glass to the better man and sat up to let what was left of the field catch me. I think there were 5 of us left in the peloton at that point but my heart rate was way too high at that point to know for sure. I was still motivated to work hard because I thought there were a couple of guys between my group and the breakaway but I obviously didn't want to pull the field up to the break because it would hurt my teammate's chances at a podium finish--and indeed I wasn't strong enough to do so anyway.

In the end, I worked really hard for 30 minutes but did not race very smart at all. Too many mistakes to name. With about a lap to go I was on the front trying desperately to catch a guy that I found out later was a lapped rider. Stupid, stupid, stupd. The four guys I towed along simply waited until I pooped out and then went around me. I sprinted to catch them but failed in the attempt. One of the guys who beat me was a 12-year-old kid on a silver Motobecane Le Champion (I own a black one). He rode very smart and stayed glued to my wheel from the time I let the group catch me to the time I pooped out. His dad has taught him well.

Here's a snapshot of the ride file. You can see that there are just too many anaerobic efforts that eventually caught up to me. My average wattage and normalized wattage were below what I can sustain for 30 minutes but anaerobic capacity was my limiting factor. Back to the drawing board.


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