So I went to this clinic about a week ago on 'Your first Crit", and got this bit of advice about showing up early to a race( thanks Kirby and Mark). I pulled up and parked the car at 8:30 am, and as I am walking to sign up for the 10 o'clock race I notice that the GPS unit for my bike says 9:30. OOOHHH NNNNNNOOOOOOO, TIME CHANGE. So I signed up, changed got the bike ready, and rode a 2.5 mile warm-up.
I was in the masters +40, and pretty nervous wondering are there Cat 3 or 2's in the race. And I see no other xXx teammates. My goal was to stay with the pack, and around 8th position throughout. They took off fast and I had a hard time getting my breathing down. By the second lap, the paced slowed and I was good. Now that I was warmed up and feeling comfortable riding and cornering with the pack, things started to become clear. No one was working together and everyone was going into turn 2 wrong. There was a much faster route through turn 2 on the far outside. I was thinking before each turn, 'what position do I need to be in after the turn'. The fact that I was able to think about position and drafting was a big deal for me. I did not get into the draft after every turn, and had to work hard at times, but I could always make it up on turn 2. I was feeling good. Confident. I am going to finish with the pack.
So here we are, 2 laps to go and no one wants to do anything. The pace is slows. With a lap and a 1/4 to go I decide to pick up the pace and jump on the pedals. The tension on the pedals just was not enough. My right foot comes of the pedal, foot goes to the ground, my body comes down on the front of the seat and then the top tube. I keep my balance but by the time I get it together I am fighting to hold on to the back of the pack. Needless to say I don't do well but did finish second to last but with the pack. And I am glad the first race of the year is out of the way.