Slip and slide

Raced this morning in the Wells Ave C race. After sitting in the car a good chunk of the day yesterday, my legs needed some stretching, but I felt pretty warmed up by the time we lined up on the line. We had 4 Quad riders in the group — myself, Matthew, Jim Smith and Kenton. There were also two guys from the MIT team that I knew were pretty strong. The initial strategy that Matthew, Kenton and I had was to try to get to where on the last lap, they could give me a lead-out for the sprint.

The race started out relatively sedately — the first lap was only about 22 mph but it looked like there were a few pretty strong riders within the pack. I made it a point to again stay up in the front third and decided that I'd stick with the MIT guys for a bit. By the 4th lap, things were heating up significantly and we had a very quick lap. I was working hard, but managing to stay in the front part of the pack. The preems began to be called and had the usual impact that they have at Wells — they broke things up briefly, but then things would slow down afterwards and there'd be a regroup. About halfway through, I wasn't sure how much more I had and so I sat back a bit more and tried to recover while remaining near the front of group which was up to about 24 mph at this point. I also continued to look for the rest of the team so that we could try to get organized, but the pace wasn't entirely conducive to the others getting up to the front.

With three laps to go, there was an attack by some of the stronger riders and to avoid them getting away entirely, I tried to hang on. And, for the most part, I did. Unfortunately, the remaining three laps continued at the high 26-27 mph pace. Coming around the back side of the course on the last lap, one of the other teams launched an attack sending one guy off the front and leaving another guy back to block a bit. This was more successful than usual in the C race since the front group had been riding a reasonable pace line for a couple of laps. Eventually got around him and sprinted hard, but got swallowed by the front of the chase group with about 50-100 yards to go. Placement ended up being about 10th of the 40 or so people out today and had an average over the entire race of 24.9. So not too bad, but could have been better. I need to get a better feel for when to actually jump for my sprint at the end of a race — I do well on the normal club ride, but part of that is that I know the route very very well. So it's just a matter of being able to apply that to different situations. Also, working on how to better get everyone else into position so that we can work together at the end rather than being spread throughout the field would be good as well.

Unfortunately, after going over the finish line, I hit something on the road and my bike went skidding out from under me, leaving me with some nice road rash to remember today's race by. Nothing major, but it's definitely something that I'm feeling now and will likely continue to feel over the next few days. So I'll probably try to take it a little easy so that I can heal and then, in two weeks, I'll be doing the Seacoast Safari charity ride for cystic fybrosis. And then, I think my next race is likely to be the circuit race in Norwell on the 27th, assuming I can talk a sufficient number of Quad riders into going. Having a hill on the course should be good for changing things up 🙂