01 March 2009

2009 Feb 28 Merco Credit Union Grand Prix

CTL: 124
TSB: 15

Was not planning on doing this race as I am not a sprinter but one of my teammates was going to do it, signed up to help out. He got sick and had to DNS so I was on my own. The last time I did this race I remember there being five crashes in the last two laps so essentially anyone had a shot at winning if they were strong enough to be near the front and lucky enough to avoid the carnage.

I don't think we can top the comments at the start line for this event - you know you might be in the wrong race when everyone says you need to eat more. and then someone else claimed "below the waist I'm built like a black man" ?! Too much material, not enough time...but we'll try next race...

2009 Merco Downtown Grand Prix Cat 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.
Anyways, I put my nose in the wind for the lap, switch to TT mode at around 25-26 mph (you never know...) and look back and see two folks gaining on me so I ease up and see if this might work and they get a little ragged after they both stayed on the front for half a lap each and we get caught by the group, since I am racing tomorrow so I will just sit in and survive and move up for the finish, just like the other eighty guys.

All goes according to plan until there is a crash in front of me about halfway through right when I was going to start moving up. Burn a match to catch the group then we are instructed to stop at the start finish so we can restart the race with eight laps - this will be like a longish track race but I have to start at the back. There are two places where it's safe to move up a lot of places, exiting the turn after the chicane, and the main straight, for some reason it's easier on the shorter back stretch so I start moving up a few spots every lap with four to go, but waited a bit too long and enter the last lap from what I think is 20th but after review looks like 30th or so of the 60 riders left. There is lots of contact and close calls but no crashes until Brian has a rear tire blow out in the last corner while leading the race, and a rider behind this incident crashes, delaying most of the rest of the field. Oh well, get this far, should at least sprint once it's safe and end up 20th.

This data includes the neutralized lap
D: 32.8 kilometers
S: 40.9 kph
C: 94
Pavg: 186
Pnorm: 213

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