EVENT
Folsom Winter Criterium

CATEGORY
P/1/2

DATE
Sunday, February 15, 2015

AUTHOR
Scott Bromstead

COURSE DESCRIPTION
Dead flat D shaped course w/ 2 90's in turn 1 and turn 4.  minor chicane like right, left b/t turn 3 & 4.

PREVIOUS RESULTS
2012: 18th/67 (E4), 43/85 (35+ 3/4, worked with Scott Cox & Mike Kopp for teammate Rick Graves, who won!)

WEATHER
Perfect day for racing.  Clear, warm, not much wind.

TEAMMATES
Solo in the P/1/2 race (I felt like Ricky Bobby on ME Racing when I showed up, but that's how it's gotta be this winter, all day of reg.  Sorry everyone for no advance notice I'd be racing)

GOALS
CAT 1 Upgrade Points

PLAN
Patience early, Get in midway break, Sprint finish

RACE SUMMARY
P/1/2
After just missing the podium in the 2/3 field, I figured I'd need a miracle to finish well in this stronger, smarter field, being my second race of the day.  Some guys were in the same boat as me, but a lot of the top racers were fresh for this one, so all I was hoping for was a good workout.  And right from the gun, it seemed, there was attack after attack.  But with plenty of teams with strong representation, nothing got too far.  At one point Max Jenkins started attacking, so I followed and pulled through to help get a split, but it wasn't working, so I moved back a little to recover and then right after that, Max gets away with 2 or 3 Marc Pro guys, a Data Driven Athlete guy, a Squadra guy and one or two others.  Great, I'm thinking.  Totally missed the boat on that one.  Thankfully, Coretechs missed it too, and they had a big squad so they started chasing, not really all out, but keeping it fast on the front.  A couple laps later, the Giant Berry kids start attacking hard and I think this is my chance, so I go up and try to help/pull through, but everyone is lined up again.  I race hard for a couple laps, but then drift back to recover, and Bang, 4 more guys get away.  Ansel Dickey, another Marc Pro/Strava guy, this time a Coretechs guy & another Data Driven Athlete.  I don't recognize any of these racers at this point.  So, missed the second break, and I'm thinking maybe I'm not smart enough for this sport.  Maybe I'd be good at wrestling?  Or Kickboxing?  (Stole that one from Kopp ;-)  I'm pretty disheartened, since even though I was really only hoping for a good workout, which I was getting, I still wanted to do something.  So, I recover a lap or two and at this point the Coretechs guys and Data Driven Guys don't want anyone else up there (Every Marc Pro/Strava guy was already in the damn break), so they were chasing and sitting on.  I traded pulls with a Chronos Masters and a Davis Bike club rider, but we were just towing the field.  After two particularly long pulls, I went all in and sprinted hard into the wind.  I looked back and nobody was chasing.  I guess the pack thought I wasn't going anywhere by myself, or maybe they thought one more rider wouldn't change the break dynamic much, because they let me go.  It took me, I think, 2-1/2 laps solo to catch the 11 man break.  The headwind on the back stretch felt particularly grueling and all manner of bodily fluids started flying out of me.  And my second time into it, I almost gave up, since I had forgotten to count my time gap and wasn't sure if I was catching or just riding around in no man's land.  The break was riding single file paceline, with the front guy pulling about 20-30secs then dropping to the rear.  Three or Four guys weren't pulling through, so I sat on the back for a bit.  As soon as I caught on, I saw 5 laps to go, and thought, well, I timed it just about perfectly, because if I waited any longer, I wouldn't have made it.  Shortly thereafter, some yelling ensued, so I took my turn in the paceline.  On turn 4 just before 1 to go, Marc Pro/Strava lined up 4 guys on the front and drilled it.  It was pretty impressive.  The speed went from 26mph to 33mph instantly and held like that around the last lap.  I tried to move up again after turn 3, as the Strava guys peeled off one by one.  And I came into the last corner 3rd behind Matt Chatlaong (Herbalife/Marc-Pro/Strava) and Ansel Dickey (Cal Giant), and they sprinted away from me, finishing 4 or 5 bike lengths ahead.  Matt is a beast of a dude and I was impressed that the much smaller Ansel was neck and neck with him to the line.

TAKEAWAYS

*Thanks to Mike's Bikes, Equator Coffees & Teas, Osmo Nutrition, Probar, Specialized, Sram, Smith Optics, Violich Farms,Toyota & all my teammates!!  Special thanks to Chelsea Brown for hanging around to get my podium shot. Congrats to her on getting 4th in the women's P/1/2 race!

* I can race in the top field.   And even though it's early & guys aren't fit yet, (and factoring in my advanced age) I think I can compete in the P/1/2 crit field.  Maybe even win one, if I'm fresh, have some teammates and the race plays out just right for me.  (Probably not in a Road Race though)
* I set very high goals for my self each year, sometimes seemingly arrogant, I'm sure.  But, I feel like I may be able to achieve my main goal this season.
* I'm learning to read the race a little better. I'm still pretty bad at it, but I'm starting to get a better feel for racing.
* When I'm getting tired and wanting some rest, that's when the breaks happen, stay with it just a while longer.  Then I can avoid the solo bridge effort.
* That's 6 more upgrade points, so now I'm hoping for just 14 more.

NUMBERS

P/1/2
Distance: 27.5 mi
Time: 58:39
Elevation Gain: 20 ft
Avg Speed: 27.6 mph
Max Speed: 35.7 mph
Avg Power: 253 W
Normalized Power: 299 W
Max Power: 1081 W
TSS: 72.9
https://www.strava.com/activities/255021704