24 May 2009

2009 May 24 Auburn Criterium

CTL: 111
TSB: 4
Should be an OK day for me to race according to PMC but my legs are still sore from track racing on Friday night. This is a new race in Auburn which is about half an hour east of Sacramento. The course has a long slightly uphill drag to start/finish line that continues uphill after the finish with a steep section that lasts about twenty seconds, sort of like the start of the finish straight at Santa Cruz before it crests and leads to a 90 degree right that is narrow due to other lane being open to traffic, this goes under a railway crossing and immediately after the crossing (about 150 feet from the last turn) it turns 90 degrees right again (narrow initially then wide) with a long headwind and slightly uphill section until one reaches the top of the course which goes over the railroad tracks on a bridge a right turn onto the bridge, and 50 feet later a right turn onto the gradual sweeping left hand turn down to the hay bale lined left 90 degree turn. It was slower than I thought as I only reached about 32 mph into this turn. Then after a block there was a 90 degree right and another 90 degree right back onto the home stretch. Enough words:

The race goes with what is called a neutral lap so that everyone can view the course once with the moto ref at the front. We are not supposed to pass the moto, it's sort of like a keirin fight for position. My legs are not cooperating at all so I just sit on the back and it's strung out single file when we get the whistle for the rolling race start. My race is pretty much over on this first lap. I am getting gapped by the railway underpass, and after the two right turns come across the aftermath of a couple of riders sprawled on the ground, both talking so they are OK, and see a small gap to the field ahead on the long back stretch. Try to catch on, blow, and after a few laps chase for the rest of the race, get lapped once. Since our field is only about thirty five, the officials are nice and let us finish the race.

t: 36:19
pnorm: 239 - this is close to just doing Montebello at threshold for me - the part where I got dropped wasn't that hard ( i.e. I went harder for longer at the track on Friday )
pavg: 181
d: 18.4 km
c 97
s: 30.3

On the positive side, I stayed attentive during the start and was on the moto's wheel or close to it for the neutral lap, but the steep section of the hill got the better of me on the first lap, and I went straight to the back of the pack. I was with the group for one lap which was a minor improvement, until we got to the steep section and I could not do it a second time at race pace. Luckily(?) the officials had mercy and let us stragglers finish even though the original field size was around fifty.

One of the course marshals told me I would go faster if I shut my mouth, the additional wind resistance from riding around with my mouth wide open is probably slowing me down! The loud breathing is a dead giveaway whenever I am catching up to people, too. I considered quitting both races early but I could hear people yelling my name or possibly a similarly named competitor and would have felt worse if I quit and someone was cheering for me, can't let the spectators down.

2009 Auburn Criterium 35+ 4/5 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

t: 35.17
pnrom 238
pavg 182
d: 18.3 km
c: 98
s: 31.1
I want to try this race again, but I will have to skip the Friday track if I want to do well, even with one full day of rest my legs are not the same.

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