It's okay going to the bike races even if they are under water. Today was the first criterium in a 5 race series offered by the Pacific Sunset Velo club. The weather was cold and wet but the race was still going on even in the rain condition. I was able to enter my first criterium event of the day but the second race I had to wait until 15 minutes before the start because it had already sold out on line a few days before the race.
I started the first race with blood sugar 200. Race was 40 minutes in length at average of 26 mph with surges, 3 premiums, and alot of water all over the road. I was careful going through the corners not to slip and cause any crashes. My strategy was to remain in the top 15 during the race, forget the premiums because the training has not been strong enough to recover---coming off an illness for three weeks.
Blood sugar stayed well without any drop in energy, legs seemed fine. Then on the bell lap, final lap, there were two corners to go. I rolled up behind one of the other racers who had won one of the earlier premiums so I knew he would be a great lead out for me in the final sprint. We was behind a big dude, a big wind screen type of rider who would have been fabulous to lead us both out in the sprint. I was all the way over on the right with no room for anyone to block me from the outside and then suddenly this big dude just sat up as if he did not want to go for the sprint. The previous premium winner and I had to slow up as well because the big dude in front of us took us both out of the vortex of the group winding up for the sprint. 5 or 6 guys past us and by the time we got around the big slowing guy we both were slowed for the final sprint. I finished 10th out of 49 others in the race, just behind the previous premium winner. Sitting sprint is important for these conditions because it would have been a near death event to stand up and hard sprint on those wet streets, maybe losing the front wheel by slipping out.
Blood sugar after the race was 210 so all in all things worked pretty well.
The second race, 40 minutes, 70 guys racing, was in dry conditions. A very fast start and it seemed that many of the guys were out for more than just a win--- out for blood. The legs had not recovered from the first race and I knew this was probably going to happen because training had been off for the last few weeks--- illness. There were 5 crashes with guys not paying attention, bodies hitting the asphalt and carbon fiber and wheels flying everywhere. I lucked out and didn't get tangled up in any of those crashes.
With a good head wind along a couple of stretches during the race many of the front dudes would start to get the pace rolling fast and then they would slow because they would get tired in the wind and then the other riders would slow and bunch up like a clogged funnel. There was also this super strong legged guy out there who would not hold his line and he caused one of the crashes so I needed to get him behind me permanently. And just as soon as I made that decision and got around him, the very next corner he caused one of the crashes. Bike racing is exciting; you better be ready to jump or get jumped.
I took a premium sprint against a guy on the third lap to go in the race because I knew nobody else would probably want to sprint being that the final sprint was less than three laps away. I lost the sprint by a 1/2 bike length, oh well, tired legs. Then I just hung on for the rest of the race and did not challenge for the final sprint. 45th out of 55 finshers in this race, 15 DNF's due to 5 crashes--unbelievable.
Blood sugar was great in this one too. Start at 190 and finished with 185 mg/dl.
Following the races I ran a 7.5 mile transition brick run and felt all right but again legs a little tired due to illness.
I found the rule to be in these criterium bike events that if you don't have the guts to hold onto at least 4th place leading into the sprint you probably don't have a shot at the win due to other riders who most frequently can foul you up.
Family party in Newport Beach this weekend. Katie and Gil families meeting together before the summer wedding and this will be a great time. I will ride a good 80 from San Dimas on Saturday to get down to Newport Beach by way of the Santa Ana River Bike Trail.
Endurance athletics and diabetes; a great way to fly!
Cheers, train on, hang tough.