Category 3,4: 10 laps
Metropolitan Cycling Association | Team Squiggle
Confirmed Riders (not including day-of registration):
– Aaron Deutsch
Race Summary: The start was just how we like it: sun was already rising, temp was crawling into the mid-70s, and we probably had 75 starters in the 3/4 field.
Pace was good, 27.5 for the first two laps, dipping down slightly to 25.5 at the end of the 11 laps.
Spent the first few laps yo-yoing between the middle and the back of the pack (and this wasn’t due to soft pedaling, this was due to picking the wrong “current” of riders that kept getting sucked backwards towards the abyss). The accordion effect got a little annoying after a few laps; the pack would slow at the bottom of the hill, then accelerate quickly. By the time the acceleration made it towards the back of the pack you had to hold on tight and ride 30+ mph all across the bottom of the park to reconnect. After a few of these I moved up a dozen places at a time on the hill until I was riding top 20. In talking to some after the race this eventually took a tole on a handful of riders who cracked and dropped out half way through.
About 3/4 through the race we started to mix up with the masters group which is when everything started to unravel. Each group seemed to neutralize well for the other but we kept passing each other which threw off the rhythm of the race.
This, combined with more pedestrians due to the longer race bleeding later into the morning culminated in a disastrous finish. With about 1500 meters to go the overall speed was accelerating but the real setups for the sprint had not yet begun. I was running about 15th and feeling good knowing that about half of these guys would peel off and we’d have a good chance of placing.
This is around the point where we overtook the masters again, meaning we had only one usable lane for a bunch of impatient, squirly Cat 3/4s. From what I understand, one of the masters veered left and laid two guys in the front out on the road. I managed to swerve a tight path around them but a few guys behind me went wide into the jogger lane. One of them leveled a jogger who’s sunglasses almost hit me in the face.
From that point most of us just soft pedaled to the finish and called it a day, glad to be upright.