First ride with WCMCC (West Coast Master Cycling Club), second ride at Smeaton Way and my second points race, Where you score points, usually 5 for 1st, 3 for 2nd, 2 for 3rd and 1 for 1st, every certain number of laps, or here every 10 minutes. Person with most points win. The race favours riders with explosive bursts of speed, given my limited sprinting prowess, I needed a good plan, which was to get into a good spot for the first sprint, wait until it was over, then launch an attack, get a break and try and stay away for the couple of sprints.
Was sitting in a decent position with half a lap to go to the first sprint, when I got muscled out, partly due to my lack of confidence riding in packs, partly due to the closer nature of riding within a WCMCC D grade bunch compared to a PDCC D grade bunch, as well as some very assertive riding. I was back to my usual position of ticket collector at the final corner, do not know if it was the sheer pace of the bunch or my legs not working after yesterday’s punishment, I had trouble making it to the front of the group, well the two riders who rolled off the front as a result of their sprint acceleration. Half a lap later, I got to the front and launched my attack, but never got a gap and three quarters a lap later, I was back in the pack, feeling tired.
Plan B let’s try that again next sprint, same thing got muscled out of position, still nowhere near the front in the sprint, still managed to get to the front a little earlier this time, but the same result, within three quarters of a lap, back in the bunch. But now my legs where feeling good, so five minutes later when everybody slowed, I launched another attack, this time I actually got a small gap for more than half a lap, but that was it, the bunch was on my wheel, I stay on the front at a decent pace for almost a lap, when the whistle blew for the sprint next lap and I got swamped, and given the effort I just made, I was not taking part in that sprint.
Still my legs where feeling good, so I thought might as well help my club mates out. Offered to chase down a break, which was not needed, so instead with a few laps to go, I went to the front and set a decent pace to discourage attacks and give my club mates who both could sprint a chance to score more points. After a couple of laps on the front, a small group of riders went past and then promptly settled down to the same pace. So I rolled down to the back to grab a breather and a drink, when on of my club mates attacked as the bell rang. My mistake, I thought we had two laps to go. So I quickly made my way up towards the front. I could probably could of made it across to him and then bury myself on the back straight to help him. On the other hand I could of dragged a few of the bunch across to him. At this point, knowing a place was out of the question, I had to ride home and I was racing tomorrow, I swung off the bunch and cruised to the finish. My club mate did stay away until the finish, so he did not need my help, my other club mate finished 2nd securing the overall win in D grade.
Todays lesson, you need to be in a good position for any sprint and to do that you need to be confident in your ability to race in a bunch and be assertive in your riding, so you do not lose that position. I really enjoyed my race with WCMCC and I learnt a lot today and gained a lot more confidence. I hope to ride with then again soon, but as their criterium calendar clashes with PDCC criterium calendar. It may have to wait until the road season. When WCMCC races Sunday morning and PDCC Saturday afternoon.
The other interesting thing is my last three criteriums, my power curve has been almost identical and matches the critical power model curve for 250 watts up from the 225 watts before Christmas.
All the details on Strava