[Note: I have a "Music Player" gadget, 4th down to the right. You may run audio from it or the video as you see fit by pausing the music player or muting the embedded video. Enjoy!]
The above video is from the State Criterium Championships that was held in Jefferson City on August 1, 2010. The race started at 4:00pm and was pretty darn hot, around 95 degrees. Joe Schmalz won the race, but I won the Missouri State Championship Title because I was the first eligible Missourian to cross the finish line.
Mostly I just sat at the back of the pack, lap after lap. It was extremely easy sitting on. My average wattage sitting on was only 241 watts even at the pace of 25.88mph.
Mid-way through the race I made a serious effort to break free. I didn't get very far at all before the entire pack was in my draft. I simply sat back in the draft until I saw another good opportunity to try again.
I was finally successful breaking free with only 5 or so laps left and I rode nearly full out, with the exception of letting off a little on the bell lap to try and have a good finish. It is notable that I timed my jump to spring up to 2 riders just ahead of me. I noticed my team-mate Ethan Froese was at the front of the group and figured he would slow the corner for the certain chasers. I drafted off the two ahead of me for a bit and just before the pack caught us I launched again, at a full effort. Joe Schmalz bridged up to me very quickly and I knew there would be no way to beat him once he had latched on. He's a much better sprinter than I am.
I was mainly concerned with winning the State Criterium Championship. Joe told be that he wasn't from Missouri. As a result my main concern was not to be caught by the pack.
In the video it may look like I was NOT trying to sprint, but in fact I was. I started early just after the final turn. I must admit that this was a poor strategy. A better strategy would have been to use "sprinter's tact". That is to start the sprint slowly and continue to slowly accelerate to the line. The idea is lure the drafter into either waiting too long to come around or to come around sooner so that they no longer have a draft and then go full out while you still have an advanced position. At any rate, I am pretty certain that the outcome would have been the same. Joe Schmalz is quite good.
A couple points about the course and the watt chart: The course is actually hilly, so it is generally best to charge hard up the hill and coast down the hill (catch a little recovery) on the opposite side of the course. This makes the wattage very jumpy. As a result I had to smooth the data at 1% so that it would be understandable/viewable. With 0% smoothing the graph is so up and down that it looks like heavy and rapid seismic graph. The smoothing only effects the graph appearance and not the numbers averages.
I also want to include my State Time Trial results from the day before.
Andy Chocha won the State Time Trial Championship with a time of 52:48, I was second with a time of 53:04. Great job from Andy! I totally forgot how good he is at time trialing. Now I remember!
I put a lot of effort into winning this race (it was the only race that I felt certain I would win), but still came up short. I traveled to Jefferson City and did 3 efforts over a three week period just to get dialed in and really know the course. Unfortunately I made some calculation errors and that lead me to believe that I was faster than I really was. (I thought I was doing 40k all under 52 minutes.... which is fantastic!) In particular, I didn't correctly calibrate my wheel circumference into my SRM device. This lead to incorrect distance measurements which lead to incorrect times and speed averages.
Check this out: my standard wheel measures 2105mm circumference, my Zipp 404 wheel measures 2073 mm, and my 1080 Zipp wheel measures 2040mm. So the differences in wheel roll out is 0, 33, and 65mm. Speed is calculated by magnet passes with each wheel rotation. Over 40kilometers my 1080 will have something like 19,607 rotations. Entering a 404 Zipp wheel circumference, but actually using a 1080 Zipp wheel, will give .647Kilometers farther distance measurement and .42mph higher average speed measurement than if the correct 1080 Zipp wheel circumference is entered. The standard wheel will give 1.27Kilometers farther distance than the 1080 calibration and .82mph higher average speed on the same distance.
Point is: roll out and measure your wheel that you are going to be riding, THEN enter the correct measurement into your speedometer device.
One last point that I would like to make concerning time trials: If possible try to be the first to start if the time trial is in the morning and last if it is in the evening. The reason for this is that wind always slows a rider (even on an out an back course). No (zero) wind is best for an out and back course. Wind speeds typically increase in the morning and decrease just before sunset (not always, but usually). Less wind means faster. Faster means better.