On Saturday night, a few members of the team stayed in Oxford. Not much was open downtown (we ended up at Rooster’s). Probably it was because it was a holiday weekend… or maybe most of the bars close down for the summer… It was my first time in Oxford, so I have no point of reference.
The next morning, we woke up to rainy conditions. My race wasn’t until 10:50 by the schedule (it ended up starting a bit late). By race time, it was overcast and relatively cool (for once). But the roads were dry. Oddly enough the corners on the criterium course were much less technical than the circuit race. None were tighter than 90 degrees and all had good pavement.
Our plan had our Category 4′s joining us for the 3/4 race on Sunday, so we were most of the field. In total, we were 10 strong (4 cat 3′s and 6 cat 4′s). This meant that we needed to keep the pace high and keep launching our guys up the road. Over the 40 minute criterium, I lost count of the attacks, but I know that I did at least 6 of them myself (I suppose I could look at my SRM data, but it is not that important). Our goal was to make sure David was well placed for the omnium. With a half lap to go, Michael launched with David in tow and got him in a small group for the sprint. He netted a 3rd from it. The downhill sprint made for some interesting dynamics as I felt I hit my top speed (which needs some work mind you). I didn’t get a look at the final results sheet, but I was probably 7th or 8th right behind Mark who pretty much pulled me down the final meters after I caught up to him.
Three of us also raced the 1/2/3 crit. I lined up near the start and worked hard in the beginning to stay near the front and work out the tightness in my legs from the effort in the 3/4 race only 45 minutes earlier. After a few laps, I was feeling better and pretty much settled into a pattern of covering attacks, initiating attacks, and just racing really aggressively. Our cross-town rivals, Marx and Bensdorf lined up 5 at the start and were pretty instrumental in shutting me down (along with other team’s attacks.) About half way through the hour long race, a break of 4 established with Tria (Toone), Myogensis (Murphy), and Herring (Butcher and Moak) in it.
That pretty much shut down the field with Herring (Boudreaux) taking up residence up front. We (as a field) tried a few things, but no one had the will or ability to pull back the break.
In the end, it got down to just 8 of us in the field… I ended up in 11th place.
Debbie Milne doubled up after her Women’s race and raced well in our field staying out of trouble and doing some covering of gaps, etc. She finished right in front of me to take the last paying position. After the race, I asked her what I was fighting for…. it was $10, so that was okay. I really didn’t have the legs after racing so aggressively to put a good sprint on. Since I am not a sprinter at all, that is pretty much only game plan.
Both of the races had me with normalized power over my FTP (I.F. of 1.024 and 1.027 for the 3/4 and 1/2/3 races). This weekend ended up being a good way to cap off the first half of my road racing season…. my next event (planned) is the Meridian / Cuba challenge 5 weeks away.
1/2/3 crit photo album is now up.