Monday, April 22, 2013

2013 Ft. Ritchie Criterium: Evo me the money!

Race Report
Dana Stryk
Evolution Cycling p/b Long and Foster

Ft. Ritchie Criterium
April 21, 2013
Field Demographics
Women’s Open
Course Data
45 minutes
Sunny and COLD with some wind

Title for this novella:  “Evo me the Money”

Irony “(1) : incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result (2) : an event or result marked by such incongruity.”  Recent examples of irony with respect to racing:  The author of this novella refused to ride outside in winter when temperatures fell below 40 degrees F, despite the requests and probably eye-rolling of teammates.  For 2013, 60% of races completed have started in temps below 40.  Enough is enough!

The Ft. Ritchie course is a flat crit with a chicane, chance to use some CX skills over rough pavement and a sharp right-hand turn into the finish which necessitates 1st or 2nd place into the turn to have a chance to win the race.  Our field was small – 11 pre-registered, with Kenda and NCVC in the group as well as us. 

As we line up for the start, the official gave us his “cowboy” rules which eliminating biting, crying, cursing and some other things which made us scrap our race strategy, although he did not mention anything about wardrobe malfunctions….right Kelley?  We started a few minutes early since everyone was at the line.

Road results predicted Colleen, Alexis and Dori to be the top three, so we knew that we needed to keep our eyes on them.  There were a couple of early attacks without success.  Early in the race, Jen Chang from NCVC jumped as we crossed the start/finish and I bridged up to catch her as we passed the part with rough pavement.  Either stupidity or CX skills made this portion seem not so bad, so I took the turn tight and ended up off the front on lap 3.  I know my power figures and that was a wee bit too early to think of a TT but I wanted to provide a photo opp for CA so I put my head down and was caught about 3/4 lap later, photo opp provided.

Wendy was riding well, toward but not on the front, with Kelley and me mid-pack.  The preme bell rang (hot chocolate premes would have been more enticing than the beer, but…) and the typical race thing happened…someone sprinted for the preme, the group sat up and someone counter-attacked.  Alexis was off the front and no one jumped on her wheel.  I am not sure of the time gap, but about a lap later, Colleen jumped at the turn past the apron and had a gap.  I was, finally, in the right place at the right time.  Wendy yelled at me to get on her wheel and I was able to bridge up.  I caught her wheel and assumed that the whole group was behind me. 

As we made the turn before the start/finish, I realized there were only two people behind me.  We had a break of four – and we continued the chase.  We were slowly pulling time back (very very slowly) from Alexis.  CA would shout out the splits as we went by.  I thought with some effort we could catch her.  Since Kenda and NCVC were also in the break with me, I was pretty sure the main group would give up time to us, which they did until Alexis caught them and started pulling them.
Evo in the Money!!

 As we made the final turn, I knew I needed to be the first through the turn and I started to execute.  I went out too wide to start the turn and ended up going through last rather than first, one of a couple of tactical errors I made during the race.  I ended up in 5th place.  For the main group, Kelley, Wendy, and Christine were 2nd, 3rd, and 5th in the group sprint, 7th , 8th and 10th overall. 
Beer preme!!

Lessons learned:

  • I was so surprised to be in the break, I stopped thinking strategically. I have a strong 20 minute effort.  Once in the break, I should have treated this group as the “main group” from which I should try to break and tried a solo TT effort.
  • If I did not think I could get away from the group, I should have let the break die.
  •   Be better prepared for the counter-attack.

Kudos and shout-outs:

  • Joe Jefferson and all associated with the race – as always, excellent job!  Joe – great music selection, although others may not appreciate my dancing.
  • Wendy and Kelley – it is going to be a fun season (I tried to work the word balls into the sentence….but couldn’t)
  • CA - wow.  Your plan works.
  • CA – wow.  You practice what you preach.   What a race you had!!

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