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BP May Crit Elite 4 and 35+ 3/4

Body Concepts Bicycle Race Team – Race Report: by Chris Grove

Race: Bicycles Plus May Crit
Date: 5/28/2011
Category / Field Size: Elite 4, Masters 30+ 3-4, 78+ racers in each race.
Team Mates Elite 4: Chris (report writer) and Todd
Team Mates 35+ 3/4: Chris (report writer) and Patrick

Weather / Course Description: Cool, overcast, occasional sprinkles, with a headwind going into the final sprint.

Race Plan: Stay towards the front and try to get a lead out sprint going at the end.

Race:

Elite 4 Race Report: This race was crowded but provided an excellent opportunity for me to work on riding with large groups. I really wanted to focus on advice Rob gave a few days ago about making sure that when people come up to pass me, I accelerate with them and join in on the line (opposed to waiting for the line to pass and then catching on, which with large field sizes usually results in you getting a ticket to the back of the peloton).

Criterium Racing - Body Concepts Bicycle Race Team

Todd and I staying close during the race

Todd and I kept working the group and working our way back to each other so that we would be in good position to get a lead-out going at the end. The only problem is that we were both thinking like Cat 5 riders when we were last at this crit. Our thinking was that we could move up with two laps to go and, from there, get to the top 5 on the final stretch. On that final lap, we were going over 31mph which is much too fast to make up significant ground. I finished slightly behind mid-pack and Todd wasn’t far behind.

Kudos to Todd for keeping the pace while coming off of a knee injury! This was a fast race.

Chris and Todd - Body Concepts Bicycle Race Team

We survived to have a picture taken at the end. The only thing missing is a podium. Maybe next time...

30+ 3/4 Race Report: In talking with Rob before the race, he emphasized staying towards the front of the pack and not letting myself drift to the back. Especially with 3 laps to go, I need to be in the top 10. Once again I was working on going with groups when they pass me and I think I was doing really well. A few times I got stuck and found myself in the back, but it was fairly easy to find situations to move back up (like after a prime).

Patrick was also riding well. The times that I found myself towards the back, I could see him in front of me, charging away to keep BC represented in the front.

With three laps to go I was back where I wanted to be, in the top 10 riders. The problem was that I just didn’t have enough fitness to stay there. Part of it was that I was tired from the first race and the other part was that this pack was flying! I could hear the commentator mentioning several times how fast the pack was going and, up to that point, was the fastest race of the day. I ended up falling back a ways. I saw Patrick at one point and thought about organizing something, but we were so far back we couldn’t get in the top 15 so I abandoned that idea figuring it is best to finish the race safely.

Results: Uhmm… Nothing worth repeating 🙂

Lessons:

  1. Accelerating when people start to pass you is a great way to manage the race.
  2. When the race is flying, make sure you are in the front early otherwise you will not be able to make up ground.
  3. It is more fun to race when you have teammates to share the experience with. Great racing Todd and Patrick!

Sponsors Note: While I am still waiting for Nike Vision to get back to me on those glasses that will allow me to see a few seconds into the future, I must say that the glasses and lenses I have are great. There was a mix of sun and clouds today and the glasses worked great in all conditions. Never too bright, never too dark.

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