FLO Factory Team

Early Bird Crit #3 1/19/20

Strung out the whole way.

This weekends clinic and crit saw many returners and a couple new people.  The clinic focused on mainly bike handeling and manuevering.  We warmed up with a couple laps of rotating paceline.  We then moved ont he 3 broad snake drill where we would move throught he group in a snake formation to proctice handling our bikes in tight formation.  The last drill we worked on was 2 abreast zippering up the middle.  We would ride in a group, 2 abreast, and one person from the back would ride between the whole group right up the middle.  This worked on not only bike control but communication as well.  

Now onto the race, the group was spilt into two groups again and I went with the first group.  From the gun, the group was strung out the whole way.  It the past weeks, the race stayed bunched up for the first couple laps, but not this time.  I situated myself in the main group and moved myself up and down the line.  Found myself at the front pulling for a little bit and pulled off in order to not burn myself out.  As I pulled myself out to allow the next person up, that when really found out how long this line was.  we were strung out in a signle file line about 20 riders long.  I jumped back in to the next gap I could becasue I didn't want to find myself at the very back of the line in fear it might break somewhere in the middle.  Again moving up the line and pulling off after my pull i found my legs to be a bit cooked.  I didn't react quick enought to some surges and found myself falling off the back of the front group.  Instead of surging into one man recovery mode to catch back on, I notice 3 riders coming up on me.  I eased up and the 4 of use decided to work together to attempt to catch back on.  We were working 10 sec pulls at he front.  after a couple laps 2 of our gusy dropped off and it ended up being just me and one guy pushing ourselves to catch back on.  I think we both knew it was going to be an almost impossible task, but we both somehow realized, as long as I put in the effort, he will too, and vice versa.  Fortunately, the race was halted with 5 laps to go becasue of a fire truck.  They decided to restart the race with 5 laps to go, but this time everyone started together.  Thus, there was a huge surge of people to the front.  I was in the front group through 4 laps and on the last lap, I was able to hold my line and a wheel to stay up with the group.  Last week I got bumped off with half a lap to go, but not today.  I held firm in the middle of the first group.  I knew it was going to be hard to finish towards the front since my legs were pretty blown and there were people attacking off the front.  I maintained high speed with the group to the final straightaway and started my sprint, just hoping to pass some people through the line, not win.  about 10 strokes into my sprint my legs died from the flush of lactate and I couldn't push beyond what I was putting out.  So I speed pedaled though with about 15-20 yards to the finish line.  I was able to still pass some people but need to conserve more energy for the finish. I am improving from week to week in my draft and wheel management, ever growing my confidence.  

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