Thursday, August 22, 2013

Prime Laps and Field Sprints

Another Driveway in the books. This time an unspectacular finish, but that is alright, did what I came to do (put in some good efforts to bust open the legs a bit before HHH on Saturday). I sat in most of the time, but took a couple of laps solo to mix things up, and try to win.

First couple of laps were really hard, and just as I felt as though the whole back was about to settle down and breathed a sigh of relief I hit the gas. 20 seconds at ~600w to get a nice gap and then brought it down to about 260w for a bit to keep it opening up. After about a minute, just after climbing the corkscrew to get up top there was a good point to sneak a look at my gap. It was pretty sizeable for a crit and how long I had been pushing. Then I settled into threshold... As I pulled through the finish line I hear a bell ring and Logan announce over the loud speaker "Prime Lap Prime Lap." My immediate thought was something involving profane language. Nothing to ruin what looked like a promising move like a prime lap. Prime laps always seem to be the end to my best laid crit getaway attempts. I'm guessing it isn't planned this way, but it always seems like they happen just as I'm trying to get a break formed. At the turnaround at the bottom I was caught. Sat in, and planned to do so until the end.

Sometimes you see an opportunity to go and you just instinctively react. That happened to me at 3 laps to go, everyone sat up and I instinctively jumped. After getting a little bit off the front, with no one coming with I was like "Well.... wish I hadn't done this." I had a good gap though, so I pushed along at tempo. As soon I was out of sight, I punched it. Unfortunately a group of four had decided to bridge, and the group decided not to let it happen. Oh well... then came slotting in. Didn't go so well. I ended up near the back with 2 to go. People at the back were getting tired and sketchy, but I tried to move up. In the end I didn't do what I needed to in order to be in position and with a lap to go my only option was to blast up the side taking a bunch of wind. I tried it, two or three times, but AustinBikes had 5 guys in the race and they were lined up at the front throwing down and then peeling off. I was pushing ~370w to try and move up and only moving up a couple spaces at a time. Well done Austin Bikes, and bad job getting where I needed to be.

Sitting 30th, there was no point in sprinting. I was basically at the pack of the group, there were some stragglers behind me. No one was going to win from there and everyone else was trying to sprint to get 25th instead of 30th so I moved to the right and let off the gas. There were others doing the same thing, next thing I know some larger guy with an air attack and a BH G6 comes barrelling past me yelling "DON'T STOP PEDALLING ON THE HILL." I approached him after the race to say sorry for interfering with him and explain to him that sprinting for 30th is both nonsensical and dangerous. He retorted something along the lines of 'I've done thousands of these, you need to hold onto the group at the end. Wait until you learn how to race.' First of all, I resent the idea that because I'm young people assume I don't know how to ride a bike, or race one for that matter, second what the hell does having ridden a bunch of races have to do with not being and idiot and putting others in danger? (one thousand races is a  whole lot of years of racing every weekend and hitting up weekday races) This is the second time in a week that someone doing something blatantly stupid has used "lots of experience" to justify doing something stupid. (the previous was a guy who we passed on our group ride who slotted in in his aerobars. I asked him once to get out of them and yelled twice. He didn't get out of them but instead asked me "What was I supposed to do" and "I've ridden a whole lot of hours." For the record a whole lot of hours on the bike do not make the person in front of you less likely to hit his brakes)

I understand that many people are just trying to come out and do better than last week and that is cool. That said, you are endangering others and yourself when sprinting for anything other than the single digits in placing.