As a member of the OptumHealth Performance road racing team, we did our first criterium Tuesday night. It was the Tuesday Night Worlds in the Opus complex. You can view the course at Map My Ride course map.
Our strategy was to stay in the top 25% of the group and ride strong. Things went as planned for the first two laps. After that, Patrick was on his own and rode the remainder of the race out in the front group. It was an amazing effort by the whole team for our first criterium showing.
Mitch dropped a chain on the first lap and was left on his own in no-mans-land for 5 or so laps until the group caught him again. He grabbed back onto the group and hung strong through the rest of the race.
After the race we thought Colin and Patrick both both received points for sprints, but it turns out that all their efforts will in vein as they sprinted a lap early every time. Now that we understand WHEN the sprints are we hope to get points for some of the riders next race.
The biggest surprise was Chris Frykman who, before Tuesday, I had only met on Facebook and heard about through the teammates. He pulled like a locomotive up the hills in what I think was his 53x12 gear. He was a power climbing machine.
My race went off without a hitch. I led out the first lap and dropped back after the second and faded off the lead group into the second group. I think I spent too much too early and eventually was playing yo-yo off the back of that group. I finished just off the second group. I sat up more than I should have, but after Patrick and the lead group were out of sight I was just trying to find some relief from the pain in my legs and lungs. I am still dislodging phlegm from my lungs that apparently accumulated over the winter. I haven’t ever wheezed like this for so long after a race. I think that is a testament on how hard we were riding.
I did a quick graph for the speed of the riders per lap. Mitch’s data for lap 5 is missing due to being caught by the group on that lap so I skipped him even with the group.
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