Cherry Pie Criterium
CATEGORY: 45+ 123 (Combined with 55+ field, picked separately)
FIELD SIZE: 40 (48 total on course including 55+)
Distance: 25.78 km
Work: 720 kJ
TSS: 74.5 (1.077)
Power: 307w avg (3.57w/kg), 355w np, 1144w max
Training peaks file: http://tpks.ws/dFKG
1.6km course with an uphill 400m (4.6% grade) finish with a chicane at 250m to go. Hairpin turn on the top of the finish section with a fast downhill to fast right turn into a long fading left windy stretch with 2 sharp left turns before the finish run.
2009: 34th in E4 (6th race ever)
2010: 16th in E4
2011: 11th in E3
Slight wind, otherwise perfect weather. 16C.
1. Prepare my crit engine for Merco
2. Get into a break if possible
3. Keep the rubber side down
With 4 or 5 national champion arm bands, one world champion band, and some powerhouse teams around me, I was hoping to be the lone solo rider that makes it into a break with the big teams represented. Otherwise I’d then just try to stay in the top 10 or so and take on as little wind as possible. I’d try to sag climb the finish section as much as possible and see what happens. Regardless with 2 laps to go, I’d take a deep breath and move up as much as possible before the down course turns. This is my first 123 race ever, so I was a little nervous and intimidated.
I started out fast and held a good position. Every time we went over the hill it hurt badly. They were 450-600w 50 second intervals.
A few breaks attempted and I tried to get into them, but being alone it was very hard to then react to the counter moves that came. After a good attempt that failed a counter move came I couldn’t stick with it. I snapped. I needed to recover but wasn’t getting it. The small break was away for a lap or two and we came up the hill again. I was right behind Larry Nolan as he patiently watched the break, then… I saw him cross the gap faster than I’ve ever seen anyone cross a gap. One second he was with me, then next he was on the back of the break. Wow. Decisive. Fortunately, a few riders followed, and I tagged along. We caught them and the break lost it’s steam and they saw everyone was back on. I was able to recover enough to think I’d actually not get dropped. It got sane for a lap or two, and by sane I mean I only had to throw 430w (5w/kg) to hold on over the climb.
Every time I made the hairpin, I could hear someone (Dana?) shouting my name. It helped.
The next thing you know, we had only 2 laps remaining. I held position and moved up on backside.
At the last lap the power teams (Specialized, Primetime, Hammer CoC) put their lead outs in order. After the hairpin, I tried to move up, but I had to do it alone and into the wind. By the last chicane I was about 15th wheel. We cleared the chicane and it was on. I popped out into my sprint and my HR was pushing 184 now (high for me). I moved left and found daylight. I wasn’t going to win, but I started passing people and no one was catching me. If I was better positioned a podium was a possibility. Next time.
The final 600m I averaged 570w for 47 seconds, maxing out at 1091w. Glad my legs could do that after 15 previous times over the climb.
Way better result than I expected, but now I see how it could have been… way better.
8th place in field sprint (2nd among Cat 3)
* I’m right where I need to be with my training
* I need to have more confidence in my ability
* Last 2 laps, MOVE UP MOVE UP MOVE UP
* I would have provided a great lead out for a faster teammate