velodrome track race - kissena queens new york

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Last Race of the 2007 Season

This is it, for me at least. The "Tour de Parc" criterium. I haven't been riding much in the past two weeks but at least I'll be well rested. I am entered in the master's category and I've found that some master's races, although generally faster than the category 3/4 races seem to suit my profile.

The report. 10th place.
25 miles with 1 hard turn around a security guard station. I scraped my pedal a few times on this course. I expected the pace to be faster at the beginning but it was fairly mellow. Then sometime in the first 5 laps a couple of riders started to break off the front. I waited just a little too long to bridge the gap, a Mengoni racer passed me and I thought to myself, 'this is it, go now!' but instead of bridging the full gap to what became the lead group, I bridged as far as I could and paired up with a champion systems guy. While we worked to catch them they worked to widen the gap. Eventually two others joined us and we became the group of 4 riders just behind the break. There were 8 riders in the fast moving break.

Sometime around lap 18 the remaining field got pulled off the course because we were very likely to lap them. We still hadn't caught the lead group, but two of their riders fell back into our group at around this time.

In the final lap, everyone in my group knew that we'd be sprinting for 7th and 8th place. The paceline got sloppy, everyone slowed down and the usual pre-sprint chicanery started. I tried not to pull into the wind and at the top of a small hill I was in a good position but about 500 yards from the finish. I jumped anyway and for a while I thought I might have a chance to win the race (actually, 7th place). 150 yards from the line I was caught, and wound up in 10th place.

In the end I was satisfied with my effort - I usually feel like I didn't sprint hard enough at the finish and I sprinted as long, hard, and fast as I was able to this time.

Given what I've learned about my 1 minute and 5 minutes power output I should have pushed up the pace even earlier... maybe even a mile or two before the finish.

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