Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Wells Ave B Race Report

It turns out that training crits are really fun. It's been long since established that I don't like doing intervals, and I pretty much only hurt with a number on. I've tried to use road racing to satisfy my number-wearing-training needs before, but I usually end up being bored for most of the event. I'm not strong enough to attack with any success and I'm not weak enough to be anywhere near in trouble of getting dropped. So I generally do nothing, just like everyone else.

But! The training crit is a different animal, because there's really no score keeping, so "winning" is only weakly defined. I can do all kinds of stupid stuff, chase primes, avoid the final sprint, and claim that I "won" by meeting my "training goals." And since I had a number on, I wasn't doing intervals, but I was trying hard!

So yeah, Wells Ave, you will be seeing more of me. This was my first Cat 4 race ever, and my first criterium ever, so I placed myself in the B race. Linnea made her road racing debut in the C race, and thought it was easy enough to ride the B race next time. Perhaps my dream of crashing out my girlfriend in a sprint will finally be realized.

After about 5 laps I found myself moving up on the inside when the pace slowed, and I decided it was a good a chance for a random attack as any. I looked back, pleading with the field to send out a bridge attempt, and they obliged. Mike from Back Bay came across, I waited, and we set out on a merry 2-man TT as only two mountain bikers can.

Looking less than aero in my cross position [ from uri]

After 1.5 laps we were up to 15 seconds and I was thinking to myself, man, this road racing stuff is EASY. There were even a few times in Mike's draft where it even seemed like our effort was sustainable. Then they rang the prime bell (I'd like to think in recognition of our efforts) and *poof*, a 15 second lead disappeared in barely more than a lap. Welcome to road racing, Colin. I did manage to hang onto the lead just long enough to win the prime, getting passed by the sprinters after the line.

Then I went to the back of the field to suffer for a while.

After 10 or so laps of hanging perilously close to off the back, I decided that I wasn't entirely out of matches. Anticipating another prime, I moved up hard on the start straight, and sure enough, they gave us the bell. I slotted into third wheel, behind some Threshold guy leading out some non-Threshold guy with super nice wheels.

Threshold dude pulled all the way to turn 4, when nice wheels dude launched on the outside of him. It seemed kind of silly to go the long way around, but then again, I had zero desire to try to jump after him while still in the turn, so he got a gap quickly. Threshold guy tried to chase, but of course this didn't work because he'd been pulling for the entire lap. I stayed on his wheel until he sat back down and then launched.

I can't judge distance on a bike, but nice wheels dude was really far away already, maybe 30 yards? Whatever it was, when I looked up after five seconds I almost gave up when I saw the gap. But it's a training race, and I'm already sprinting in my biggest gear, might as well get in a good effort for the powertap I didn't put on this bike...

After 10 more seconds I realized it was going to end up just like the Noho sprint against Colin Murphy from back in the day, nice wheels guy was cooked and just TT'ing seated to the line as best he could. I came screaming by seconds before he crossed the line, which led to him violating the "no cussing" rule quite loudly. That was at least as rewarding as the can of Shaklee drink powder the prime ended up being for.

After that I was definitely cooked, I tried to attack one more time with Uri and was able to take exactly one pull before swinging off and saying to him, "dude, I'm done, see you later." And then I sat up for real on the last lap and came in 30 seconds behind the sprint, because I like my collarbones.

Post-race the entire internet gathered to make fun of my 3cm bar drop and extremely non-slammed stem. It was a glorious expression of roadie elitism rarely seen by the general public -- if we're lucky, the comments section here will continue the assault.

But seriously, I should probably flip that stem. To be cool, or aero, or pro. Whatever you guys want.

12 comments:

Ryan 4/06/2010 11:26 PM  

if you flip the stem, you will fade into obscurity as we will no longer have anyone to mock.

SHopengarten 4/07/2010 1:53 AM  

Colin, a few thoughts:

1) The Internet isn't right, keep your stem where-ever you damn well please!

2) If your going to attack Wells ave do it on the opposite side of the course from the start

3) To win preems in a sprint, you'll probably need a a 53 tooth on that rig.

4) Actually, just buy a road bike, forget what I said during bullets 1 & 2.

5) Next time: ATTACK MORE

6) If you're not crying from pain in the B Race and you have a UCI MTB/Cross license, do the A Race

rick is! 4/07/2010 8:14 AM  

training crits are the best. my first of the year is on tap for sunday.

solobreak 4/07/2010 9:55 AM  

It's not about the handlebar tape...

gewilli 4/07/2010 11:20 AM  

how many water bottles do you need in a training crit? Just curious.

hell maybe one day I'll have to try this thing called wells ave.

(word verification = spint)

Colin R 4/07/2010 11:22 AM  

Oh yeah, I was going to take one of the bottles off my bike, but then I realized that IT'S A TRAINING CRIT

solobreak 4/07/2010 3:37 PM  

It's not about the water bottles either.

Il Bruce 4/08/2010 10:08 AM  

You spell prime correctly. You are half way to being a road racer.

gewilli 4/08/2010 10:30 AM  

one other thing, if you're going to do these "intervals" ala training crits all summer as CX prep or to bolster MTB speed, who cares what your position is like. Leave the bike in your CX race position.

JB 4/08/2010 11:13 AM  

Sadly, one of the things I mist most about leaving Boston is Wells Ave. Although, the cars were getting pretty ridiculous during my last year there.

RMM 4/09/2010 9:49 AM  

1. There was no way that you had 3cm of drop on that boner of a stem. Perhaps you measured saddle to steertube. But then the boner sticks straight up like a hybrid's stem.

2. You performed quite well for your first training crit, I expect to see you in the A this week.

3. Successful attacks generally occur when the field is hurting, not when it is going slow.

mike 4/09/2010 10:14 PM  

since bullet points seem to be popular:

1) your stem is fine. i never did figure you to be a "half mast" kind of guy.

2) our little lap-and-a-half of glory is what sensible racers strive to avoid.

3) you should come on our pre-wells ride. the 40 or so miles should dampen your enthusiasm somewhat, making you appear more tactical or "pro".

4) dont leave the b race. i have to work at noon. i will miss riding in front of that massive stem-boner.

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