|Chuck Pontius Crit
Valencia , California
Santa Clara Velo
70F / 21C
Cycle – Criterium
Total Time = 27m 23s
Overall Rank = 3/30
Age Group = Cat 5
Age Group Rank = 3/30
Woke up pretty damn early because Cat 5 was this first race at 7:15am. I also wanted to have plenty of time for warm up. I got there and went over to sign ups and of course, they didn’t have my name. Long story short, I lost about 20 minutes because of the debacle.
I got in about a 10 min warm up on the trainer with one lap around the circuit. Next time, if time is short, I’m just going to remove my bike from the trainer and go ride. I really didn’t think about it at the moment.
This was only my second crit but 4th mass start race. I’m really just trying to get as many starts as I can so I can get out of 5’s and move up to 4’s. I was suppose to race the Devil’s Punchbowl road race yesterday but drove all the way out there only to discover I left my di2 battery at home on the charger. Loaded back up and came home. Nothing I could do.
So, yesterday, I just went for an easy ride and decided to focus on trying to place well in this crit. The last few races have been a self admitted experiment of just trying to figure bike racing out and judge my strength compared to the competition. Those races were basically sacrificed for knowledge. ie, I didn’t care how I did. I just wanted to test myself against a variety of tactical moves.
Today was different. Today, I wanted to win. I was going to sit in and make a go in the final sprint….which these always come down to. At the start, I just hung in the pack. I was keeping an eye out front but just monitoring really. A few people made moves that I knew wouldn’t stick so I let them. Majority of the race was uneventful…just as planned. I never once made my way to the front to do any kind of work. Plan was to just sit in and move up on the last lap and sprint it out.
Last lap came and I moved up to about 5th or 6th. My plan was to take the second to last turn a little wide, carry a ton of momentum into the last turn and be 3rd or 4th wheel for the finish. Well, things didn’t go exactly according to plan. I went into the second to last turn with so much momentum, I just blazed right by the leaders. I made a split second decision to use that momentum and make a dash for it. I don’t have that super high wattage to out sprint someone. My best bet is to actually go a bit early and force them to hunt me down with a high ~30 second effort. So I went as fast as I could around the final turn and stomped on it. Sprinting as hard as I could. I honestly thought I had it with about 100m to go. Then I finally heard two guys grunting right next to me. They were BARELY reeling me in and just at the line nudged me out. I lost to first by about a wheel and to second by about a half a wheel.
Really bummed I didn’t get the win but stoked with how things played out.
I took a nice easy warm down lap
Nothing. I was fresh and ready for this race.
Next up is the Piru TT 20k on Sunday. I’m really hoping this bike focus yields a power PR at Piru. I’ll be on my TT bike for the first time in a while all this week getting ready.
I also have a doctors appointment tomorrow at 9am to find out the status of my run. I should be cleared to run tomorrow but the important thing will be to see how it actually feels when I start back up. I’ll keep everyone posted.
Thanks to Wattie Ink, 101 Pipe & Casing Inc, Kurt Orban Partners, Wins Wheels, Brian Stover at Accelerate 3 and of course, Ashley.