I am getting better though, and I do try to do as many crits as I can. It's not easy, since I tend to have to go pretty far out of town to find them. Work on those flaws!
The ESG crit is tough. It's basically a 123 crit with some weaker riders thrown in and some squirrels as well. I am not one of the strong riders, but I am a pretty decent bike handler and can corner extremely fast (from sport-bike motorcycle riding)
We started out fast and stayed that way. 35 laps for 28 miles coming. I was near the back, as usual. Ordinarily I tend to hurt like crazy for the first ten or so laps and then get comfortable and start moving up. Everything was going according to plan and I pushed my way up to about the top third of the pack by the middle of the race. At this point I tend to just try to stay in there and see if I can find a teammate to help. It's so much easier in this position since I rarely have to brake before corners or even stand after them.
there was a crash, and an ambulance parked itself right at the S/F line. I was behind the wrong wheel and the guys braked. The rest of the pack on the left side punched it and I got stuck behind a bad split. We managed to bridge it, but this left me in the back again and vulnerable. I kept getting stuck behind some junior who had strong legs but was afraid of the corners and I'm starting to get tired. Brake, corner, sprint, brake, corner, sprint. Ugh.
Need need need need to get by him but I've had way too many efforts!
Yeah way too many. I got popped with around 11 to go. I let out a howl in frustration. I think they heard me a mile away.
At this point come the thoughts of "I should just quit right now..."
So I put my head down and tried to keep turning the pedals, doing something like 18mph on the ups, 25 on the downs (we were taking turn four at 32 mph when I was in the pack) they are going to lap me in four.
I kept asking the officials about the points and DNF and getting lapped when I came around...
"can I start tomorrow if I get lapped?"
(I come around again)
"do I get penalized more points for getting lapped or for a DNF?"
(again I didn't hear an answer) dang..
(why won't they answer me?)
so I made a decision to just get lapped and finish.
Housler went by me off the front, crushing the field. I am thinking he won at least two sprint laps since he was out there for quite a few and certainly the last lap. I held on to the pack once they caught me for a bit, but fell off again with 3 to go and grabbed onto three guys out there. Not sure what my finish was, but it must have been close to DFL.
I was pretty bummed, but once I glanced at my meter I realized that the race had only lasted an hour.
That's a 28mph average. Holy crap. I felt better about hanging tough for two thirds of the race.