In my neverending quest to get faster, try alcohol loading again this week.
Burlingame is flat and mostly non technical so not really a good course for a non sprinter like me so I need the race to not end in a field sprint in order to do well.
Turnout is a little low, about 65 riders for the 7 AM Cat 4 race. Get a decent start and slot in at third wheel and stay there for four laps as the first two riders have a lot of nervous energy to burn. Finally they slow and I take a turn just to see what it feels like and to get warmed up again. Doesn't feel that hard to maintain the pace. Peter from Third Pillar takes a flyer and in spite of the shorts I take off in pursuit and he doesn't make it easy for me. We are only off the front for a bit longer before we are caught and his teammate counters.
I spend the rest of the race idling near the back of the pack, there are so many people that we take up the full width of the road in the technical chicane and I don't feel like moving up until the end.
With five to go I kind of wish I was at the front just to lead it out because we are not going that fast and it doesn't seem very safe, but can't manage the nerve to move up too much, just start moving up slowly and work my way up to only about twentieth/thirtieth by the last lap.
The sprint begins in earnest at the start of the gradual arching turn before the finish straight. Am passing a few riders, when I can see the pack hesitate a bit and a rider that I am about to pass starts to move and my slightly overlapping front wheel gets dragged along with him. I hold it up, and see a rider tumble to the ground a few meters ahead, start to slow. Assume I am in the clear and start up again when another rider falls and his bike spins in front of me and I brake hard but can't avoid hitting it and go down at about ten miles per hour.
Quickly assess my very minor injuries as a scratch on the arm and shin and am about to get back up when another racer rides right into me. Elliot, who landed in the grass, advises me to get out of the street. :)
Consider myself lucky because I am relatively unscathed, Peter said he wrecked two wheels and dislocated his shoulder, and I see another rider being attended to with what appears to be a broken collar bone so I ride back to the car and reset for the next race. Mostly upset that this ends a three or four year streak of not being in a crash in a race, gotta start a new one in ninety minutes.
D: 29.7 km
S: 42.2 kph
Know a few more people in this race, including Shane, Allen, and Jonathan, and Juan.
By the time this race starts, the knee on the leg that got hit by the other rider is starting to give me pain and I am thinking about not racing, but I will try it out and if it gets worse or stays the same I will pull out.
I stay midpack ( of about 65) for the whole race. This group does not fill width of the road so much as the 4's (esp in the corners) so there are plenty of opportunities to move up safely if one is willing to burn a match.
There is an accident mid race at the start of the sweeper. We get semi-neutralized because the rider is down for about three laps and then they let us start racing again.
My knee doesn't bother me anymore after warming up in the race so I plan to attack either from 1.5 laps out or .5 laps to go. I only make it to fifteenth with 1.5 laps to go so plan B will have to do. Attack from about tenth wheel after turn two and take the two turns in the chicane as fast as possible. The only question now is whether I can hold off the pack with a flying kilo. The answer comes at the end of the sweeper when a huge rider passes me. Keep on pedaling and five more riders pass me on the finish straight.
On the one hand, even for me, that was a lousy flying kilo 1:21, 474 watts, on the other hand, it was at the end of a second crit.