Grant's Tomb 2019 - M3/4 - Kevin
i'm always unsure where i am in the beginning of the race season and starting with the season with a crit that often either ends in a bunch sprint or a huuuuge solo break meant that my options felt kind of limited. i spent the past week of sleepless nights trying to think about how i would approach this race and kind of wrote up some thoughts. my initial plan that i had written earlier in the week kind of broke down as i simulated the race over in my head over the week and my confidence waned.
so i ended up with far more realistic goals on race day
- stay smooth
- stay safe
- take a chance if you see it
i staged kind of in the back (first mistake) with the team. we're kind of just surfing wheels and hanging on and getting a feel for the course. turn 1 is significantly truncated than in previous years due to a dispute with the church so that turn ended up being a lot slower in a pack than it was in previous years (but also relatively safer?). this early in the race i still haven't found my confidence or my fitness to be assertive in the pack so i found myself having a hard time battling for position throughout the race.
about halfway through the race, a bunch of riders overcook turn 3 and slide out on the right side. i'm safely on the left so i move up a bunch of places through the chaos. they put up lap counts around lap 12 or so. around lap 10, i find myself riding some wheels up to the front of the group and i'm maybe 5-10 wheels back as the group is slowing. in past years i've kind of just sat in and watched the race unfold so i really didn't want to do that.
with 10 laps ago, it felt a bit too long solo but i was hoping that someone would come along for the ride and we could maybe share the load a bit. i put in a dig where the rainbow bus usually is. i look back and no one is following, so i end up just riding around threshold for a lap before getting swallowed back up again.
i think my failure in this race was the followup after that move. i should have been more assertive and not written myself off. when i get absorbed, i suddenly found myself more midpack than top 15 and i'm constantly being swarmed on all sides. around 4 or 5 laps to go i start feeling my legs cramp. on the final lap, with more cramps and after seeing some more sketchiness i coast through with the pack for the finish.