Today’s lesson don’t sit on the back for the first few laps of a criterium
Anybody who has read any of my race report knows that I like to sit at the back of the pack, mainly because I don’t have great confidence in my pack riding and cornering abilities. Another reason is that because of the medication I am on, at the start of races I have to manage my energy carefully, as I have only limited reserves. Fortunately as a race go on, as long as I do not work too hard early, I get stronger and appear to have more energy to burn. So most races, I sit on the back for the first half, and hope other riders chase down the breakaways. Before I can attempt to break or chase breakaways.
Well today’s race was not a day for those tactics, it was on from the start, with a couple of big surges, by the second lap a break of five was established. On the 3rd lap, I made an attempt to bridge, I was hoping for company, but it was a solo attempt. Unfortunately the five in front where still working on establishing their gap and I did not make it more than halfway. A lap later I found myself at the back of the second group, with my energy reserves gone and my race done. I just managed to hang in there until the finish 30 minutes later on the back of the 2nd group.
I watched as two riders attempted to solo bridge the gap between the two groups. I was impressed by the tenacity of the only rider who made the bridge, riding on her own for a number of laps.
So I need to change my tactics for crits, I need to be closer to the front, early in the race, to be able to jump on the moves. The only problem is to work out which moves are worth expending my limited early race energy on. Hopefully that will come with experience.