April 14, 2014

Carl Dolan

I have a love / hate relationship with this race. I have done well here in the past, I have also had unremarkable placings. As always, there was a strong headwind coming from the direction of the start/finish line. The headwind served to slow the efforts of the pack each time up the hill. Because of this, the race was never spirited enough for it to be hard.

A large group managed to split from the front of the field with 13 laps to go. The field managed to keep the gap to less than 10 seconds. Right as I began to debate crossing the gap the officials neutralized the field. A gust of wind knocked the timing gate over onto a spectator. We waited for the officials to move the gate and resume racing. The delay caused by the accident took 4 laps off the race.

My legs felt like wood for half of the lap after we resumed racing. Renewed motivation after the neutralization brought the two groups back together. I sat in the field until the last lap. Leading into the last lap, I thought hard about where I wanted to position myself for the last corner. It's funny that I was so focused on positioning into the corner that I neglected to plan my sprint for the line.

With 400 meters to go I found myself sitting in a great position on the back of the DC Velo sprint train. As we began to crest the hill, the train slowed. At a point where I should have been patient, I went for it. It was way too far out, running out of steam shy of the line. Next year I need to wait longer.

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The Good

  • Sat in, didn't do any extra work
  • I feel like my race confidence has returned
  • Could go anywhere in the pack I wanted, even on last lap
  • Race felt really easy

The Bad

  • I rode a smart race until 300m to go, then blew it
  • Need to mentally mark sprint point

Result

Safe, in the pack