I really didn’t want to race the Colavita Grand Prix (Criterium) when I woke up. I was feeling pretty sore after the previous day’s ride, my mind wasn’t fully engaged due to a recent home purchase and Cascade was coming up in a week (didn’t want to crash). But, I was in bed awake at 5:30 a.m. and I figured, “what the heck, let’s race.”
The course was pretty simple, 1.2 mile square with some mild squiggles and wide turns that could be be taken at speed. It had one “hill” on the backside that led to a headwind, otherwise it was pretty flat.
So, I lined up for the Masters 35 (3/4) race and scouted out the field; there was approximately 40 guys at the line and I only recognized a few familiar faces. Noted the guys to mark and then we were off. On the second lap, three guys get away, two of which were teammates (didn’t know them, but they looked strong) and the third was one of my marked riders. I let them get a few seconds gap and then hammered across the to join them. When I looked back, a few guys were starting to come across as well. I considered sitting up assuming that the field would cover the move, but kept on pushing. After making the connection, one of the teamed guys dropped off leaving three of us with about 10 seconds on the field. We kicked up the pace for a few laps to stick the break and then rode hard tempo for some 40 minutes. It was pretty formulaic, smooth rotation, didn’t fight for primes, done. We got occasional gap updates which typically had us in the 20-30 second range with the field out of sight.
The effort was pretty rough for me. I can be a lazy racer with a “so so” jump and I don’t typically seek out breaks. As a result, I could really feel the effort burning in my legs. When I’d fall to third wheel to recover pushing 150 watts, it felt closer to 400. I had some thoughts of bailing out, but pushed on. The other two were looking strong and taking killer pulls, so I wasn’t sure how the final would play out. On the last lap, I took my pull, slotted into third wheel and waited. About 100 m before the final turn, I let a bit of a gap grow so I could jump by with speed. I made my jump before the final corner, came around one guy through the turn and then came around the other in the sprint pretty easily. Here is a video post of the finish.
Power Numbers: In an attempt to thwart anyone hacking into my power files to breed suspicion, I’ve decided to release the data myself and quell it right now. 340 NP for 45 minutes.
I had good fun, but in the end I still felt pretty un-engaged in it all and elected to not race the 2/3 or 35+ 1/2/3 later that afternoon. I called it a day and headed home to refresh and prepare for my upcoming race in Bend Oregon – the Cascade Classic. More on that race later.