Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tue, Jan 11

Happy New Year 2011 !

For me, the 2011 race season is already one race old. Last Sunday, the first of five installments of the Early Bird Clinics and Criteriums was held in Fremont. With temperatures in the mid-40's, it was a cold day. If it weren't for the event, I would have preferred to stay home. But if you have some racing ambitions, you have to brave the odds.

Sunday's clinic covered paceline riding. After a few chaotic laps on the 2.2km course, we got our act together, and managed to ride nicely for the remaining laps. Immediately after the clinic, the Cat 5 30-44 group was about to start. All my team mates in the 45+5 group, slated for a start 45 minutes later, abandoned me, and opted to race in the lower age group instead. Smart move, because now I was the one having to wait another 45 minutes longer in the cold. Eventually, my race started, for 10-11 laps or 40 minutes. I tried to stay close to the front throughout all laps, and counter all surges. All worked well, and with about 200m to go, I found myself in 2nd place. With maybe 100m to go, I tried to get past the first rider, and then finally out-sprinted him, only to get pipped on the line but another rider who came from behind. I only would have needed maybe 3 seconds to win the race, but was happy with 2nd place regardless. I hope this was not just a glimpse of pure luck.

Next on the calendar:
1/16 Early Bird Clinic and Criterium #2
1/23 Early Bird Clinic and Criterium #3
1/30 Early Bird Clinic and Criterium #4
2/6 Ronde van Brisbeen Criterium
2/13 Early Bird Clinic and Criterium #5
2/26 Snelling Road Race
3/13 Menlo Park Criterium
3/27 Bariani Road Race

By end of March, I should be eligible for a Cat 4 upgrade.
My goals for these races: finish or better, finish in the pack, and leave no skin on the road.

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