Well, that kind of sucked. Teammate Rami and I lined up at the start, but unfortunately we were like five rows back and stuck in the middle, and couldn't get to the front of the race. The thing about the criterium format is that the back forms a comet--a dense ball at the front, and a tail behind that. You want to be in the ball. We were in the tail. And there were 70 other guys all over the place, and this was the category 4/5 race, so there were a lot of riders that were less experiences (us included) and perhaps not as good at bike handling. At one point the guy right in front of my very almost lost his wheel around the corner.
Then on the second lap, someone up ahead did lose it, and crashed. and everyone behind him didn't know what the hell to do, so they dropped speed and slowly moved around the fallen rider. Meanwhile, everyone ahead of the crash didn't change their pace at all, so like 15 of us got boned right off the bat, with the rest of the field having taken off ahead already.
We were scattered behind the field, but finally a few of us caught up with each other and decided to start getting organized to reel the main pack back in when the official pulls us out of the race, feeling that we were too far back, and not gaining on the field at all.
Total race time: 11 minutes.
That was the worst thing ever. Lessons learned:
- the back/middle sucks. Don't start there.
- that Five Hour Energy stuff is not worthwhile.
In other news, My Continental Grand Prix 4000's felt fine in the turns. Other people seemed to be having a little trouble in the turns but my tires felt great--they didn't slip at all. BTdubs: Performance Bike has Conti GP 4000's for $45 a piece right now, they retail for $60.
The silver lining here is that, according to the official results, Rami and I were not given DNF's; we managed to finish 52nd and 51st, respectively. Another point towards the upgrade to category four, and (as soon as the official results are sent in to USAC) another race on my official results page.