Day 1 – Crossroads Classic – Concord Criterium

August 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment

Race Summary
This race was a new first for me … at just over 0.3 miles long, this is the shortest criterium course I have ever done. Despite the short distance, the course was safe with wide corners that you could carry your speed through. Turn 4 was the sharpest and most awkward corner that required the most acceleration coming out of, but even then you still could take the corner at well over 25mph. All the other corners, you could take at full speed (30+ mph on the faster laps). I ended up in two very nice looking breaks about halfway into the race and then later in the race. Both breaks were away for several laps, but both came back to the field. Ben Zawacki (Mountain Khakis) counter-attacked the second of these breaks and got away solo, eventually settling into a rhythm just behind the field less than 10 laps later to take the win solo. A couple other riders slipped off the front chasing and stayed away. The rest of us left in the field (maybe 30 or so riders out of 80 starters) were sprinting for 4th place. I ended up 18th wishing I had been more aggressive with 5 laps to go to be farther to the front when the pace ratcheted up for the final laps.

The details
Jockeying for a good position started before the race. I missed out on that battle, though, thinking that we had plenty of time to get a few practice laps of the course between the end of the 3s race right before ours. So I was on the backside of the course and joined in with the 3s on their cooldown lap only to find that the start/finish line was already packed with Pro/1/2 riders 4 or 5 rows deep. I slid in on the left and ended up starting 4th row. I had a good start, though, because the guy in front of me clipped in great but just about everyone else around him struggled to clip in. I was probably only 20 riders from the front by the 1st turn.

Keep in mind that with the scrum for the start line, we didn’t do any practice laps. So the first time I saw the corners was during the opening laps, which were pretty crazy. I hadn’t worked up the craziness courage yet to really rail the corners so I slid from about the top 20 to maybe somewhere in the middle of the group. It was hard to tell, though, because with the fast speed and constant turning you weren’t able to look much past the rider in front of you to figure out what was going on. And it was impossible to look behind you. I never once looked behind to see where anybody was – even when I was later in a couple breaks! I tried to gauge the race from Chad Andrews as he was announcing, and it sounded like Team Mountain Khakis and the Colombian National team were trying to get a break established very early.

I started to move up after maybe 15 laps or so when riders coming off the front were getting tired and looking for recovery. Also, even though the lap speeds stayed relatively constant, the group started to bunch up in two spots on the course. I took advantage of those two spots to pass five or six riders at a time. Sometimes, it didn’t work too well and I would get cut off in one of the corners or pushed to the outside if I was on the outside and end up losing all those positions back. I saw an opportunity about midrace to pass everyone and go straight into an attack. From the segment data (heartrate and power), it looks like it was maybe around Lap 34, 35, or 36. Chris Harkey (Hincapie Green) drove the break for the first two laps by himself. Then we started rotating pretty well and extended our lead to maybe 10 seconds? I was really hoping that we would see the back of the field soon and motivate us to lap the field. Unfortunately, the field was chasing hard and brought us back. A few laps later I found myself in another break. This one didn’t last as long, but it took us into the portion of the race where it started to rain. We were caught right as it started to rain. This is when Ben Zawacki put in a solo counter attack. I was thankful to be at the front for the light rain because it was just enough to make the course slick. I heard a crash in Turn 1 shortly after my own wheels started to slip in the corners. Then it stopped raining, and the course was completely dry by the time we hit five laps to go.

With Ben just off the back of the field deciding it was safer not to lap, Mountain Khakis was free to setup a leadout train and kept the pace really high for the last five laps. There wasn’t much change of position at all. I ended up 18th in the race which must have been about 14th in the field sprint with a couple riders slipping off in pursuit of Ben and staying away until the end.

Overall, I was happy with the race, but frustrated by the finish. My mistake was in not being aggressive enough with about 5 laps to go. If I had expended the extra energy at that point to move up, then the group’s momentum would have kept me closer to the front instead of sprinting somewhere mid pack to finish 18th, three spots out of the money. Oh well! Looking forward to tonight’s race which is a figure 8 (barbell) course. Should be fun!

NAME   DIST   SPEED    POWER     HR      TIME
Lap 1  0.3 mi 25.4 mph 421 watts 146 bpm 0:00:48
Lap 2  0.4 mi 26.5 mph 291 watts 172 bpm 0:00:46
Lap 3  0.3 mi 35.9 mph 321 watts 178 bpm 0:00:34
Lap 4  0.3 mi 29.0 mph 277 watts 179 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 5  0.3 mi 29.0 mph 272 watts 178 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 6  0.3 mi 29.0 mph 275 watts 179 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 7  0.3 mi 31.3 mph 288 watts 179 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 8  0.3 mi 29.0 mph 267 watts 178 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 9  0.3 mi 29.7 mph 264 watts 177 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 10 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 278 watts 176 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 11 0.3 mi 32.1 mph 276 watts 176 bpm 0:00:38
Lap 12 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 279 watts 177 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 13 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 229 watts 179 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 14 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 301 watts 185 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 15 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 263 watts 183 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 16 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 244 watts 180 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 17 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 314 watts 180 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 18 0.3 mi 33.0 mph 312 watts 183 bpm 0:00:37
Lap 19 0.3 mi 32.1 mph 280 watts 184 bpm 0:00:38
Lap 20 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 288 watts 183 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 21 0.3 mi 32.1 mph 290 watts 179 bpm 0:00:38
Lap 22 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 249 watts 179 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 23 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 283 watts 179 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 24 0.3 mi 32.1 mph 296 watts 181 bpm 0:00:38
Lap 25 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 277 watts 182 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 26 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 275 watts 181 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 27 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 279 watts 181 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 28 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 273 watts 182 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 29 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 264 watts 183 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 30 0.3 mi 33.9 mph 384 watts 184 bpm 0:00:36
Lap 31 0.3 mi 25.9 mph 200 watts 184 bpm 0:00:47
Lap 32 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 290 watts 175 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 33 0.3 mi 32.1 mph 287 watts 176 bpm 0:00:38
Lap 34 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 219 watts 178 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 35 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 279 watts 175 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 36 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 265 watts 177 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 37 0.3 mi 27.1 mph 328 watts 181 bpm 0:00:45
Lap 38 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 209 watts 183 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 39 0.3 mi 33.0 mph 304 watts 179 bpm 0:00:37
Lap 40 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 290 watts 179 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 41 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 317 watts 184 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 42 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 218 watts 185 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 43 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 275 watts 183 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 44 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 337 watts 183 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 45 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 315 watts 186 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 46 0.3 mi 26.5 mph 207 watts 182 bpm 0:00:46
Lap 47 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 334 watts 183 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 48 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 394 watts 186 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 49 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 319 watts 189 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 50 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 278 watts 188 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 51 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 281 watts 188 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 52 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 280 watts 186 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 53 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 298 watts 186 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 54 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 230 watts 186 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 55 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 245 watts 183 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 56 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 267 watts 182 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 57 0.3 mi 27.7 mph 261 watts 183 bpm 0:00:44
Lap 58 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 337 watts 183 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 59 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 201 watts 184 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 60 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 269 watts 179 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 61 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 248 watts 181 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 62 0.3 mi 32.1 mph 264 watts 183 bpm 0:00:38
Lap 63 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 226 watts 182 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 64 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 236 watts 181 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 65 0.3 mi 25.4 mph 263 watts 180 bpm 0:00:48
Lap 66 0.3 mi 27.7 mph 235 watts 181 bpm 0:00:44
Lap 67 0.3 mi 25.9 mph 224 watts 180 bpm 0:00:47
Lap 68 0.3 mi 26.5 mph 317 watts 180 bpm 0:00:46
Lap 69 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 234 watts 184 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 70 0.3 mi 26.5 mph 301 watts 183 bpm 0:00:46
Lap 71 0.3 mi 26.5 mph 245 watts 183 bpm 0:00:46
Lap 72 0.3 mi 26.5 mph 205 watts 182 bpm 0:00:46
Lap 73 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 324 watts 181 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 74 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 276 watts 186 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 75 0.3 mi 27.7 mph 244 watts 185 bpm 0:00:44
Lap 76 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 280 watts 186 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 77 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 259 watts 187 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 78 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 235 watts 186 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 79 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 284 watts 186 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 80 0.3 mi 33.9 mph 362 watts 188 bpm 0:00:36
Lap 81 0.3 mi 14.9 mph 17 watts  170 bpm 0:01:22
Lap 82 0.4 mi 4.1 mph  19 watts  127 bpm 0:04:56

Interactive Strava data is available here – http://app.strava.com/rides/1083519

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Georgia Cycling Gran Prix Map Day 2 – Crossroads Classic – Salisbury Criterium

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Quick reference stats

Anaerobic Threshold:
Power:315 watts
Heart rate:180 bpm
Maximums:
Power:1097 watts (5s)
Heart rate:198 bpm (5s)
AT power estimated by critical power curve in Golden Cheetah, which predicts I should be able to maintain 315 watts for 1 hour.

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