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This is the finish of the Tilles Park Criterium. This was an unusual race for me in that it was stopped and restarted due to a serious crash. Fortunately for me, I was in a break-a-way group of six (including myself) and avoided the crash. I was told that Mike Weiss was injured (broken collar bone?), and I saw Andy Chocha bike was ruined with a fracture through the top tube.
I didn't personally finish very well. I think the video says way more than I can. Just count the attacks.
April 15th, I've been thinking about this race and how I did it all wrong, or at least major parts.
Typically when I race I operate more on instinct than deep cognitive thought. In fact it is best to have a series of rules to operate by so that decisions can be made very rapidly. For example: Never attack on a downhill or into a headwind. It is best to attack uphill or with a strong crosswind or a tailwind (second to crosswind all because of drafting factors) Keep in mind there are some exceptions to almost all rules, but in general these rules help a racer who is often at a level of mental distress to make correct decisions. I broke several rules. Always expect a counter-attack when closing an attack. Based on this rule I should have not entirely closed a chase by myself. I should have sat up and forced my drafters to work. They would have most likely done so with an attack, but it would have been a much more managable attack. Another rule is to do the least amount of work as possible until the finish.
I think my single biggest mistake was taking a flyer on the bell lap. I over estimated myself and far underestimated four other riders. I think I forgive myself for this blunder because just a few laps earlier I had chased Justin down successfully and when I moved off to set back in the rotation nobody moved up and Justin easily rode away. At the time this meant to me that the group had no juice left, but I was quite wrong.
Another mistake I made was gifting my drafters with a free pull up to an attacker. This is a subtle thing, if I do not believe I can close a gap by myself, then I should try to keep riders with me so that I can fall back into their draft later for recovery. On the other hand, if I believe I can close the gap by myself I should NEVER PURPOSELY allow other riders a free draft. This is a sure way to get beat, and this is exactly what I did.
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