Two races in one weekend - I haven't attempted that before, but I thought I'd give it a go. Originally I signed up for these races separately, not realizing they were on the same weekend. But I was off to San Fernando for their GP and then to Glendale for a criterium. Both are pretty close by usual standards (less than 40 miles).
Saturday, Race #1 - I got there early, expecting the usual 4-square course, etc. But this course ran through downtown San Fernando, starting in front of an old bank, and making its way around downtown in a P-shaped circuit. Something new for me. Anyway, I've noticed that the Cat 5 field of late is slightly less "amped" than earlier in the year - I think a lot of guys have moved up already, and the remaining competitors are not quite as intense.
The race was not too tough really - I worked to stay at the front for the whole race, and stayed generally up in the top 5 for 90% of the time. But I didn't feel that great Saturday. I had a really slow week on the bike, opting to ride to work a couple of times, and didn't have any real interval workouts. I have really been trying to get home earlier this week, as Jack is now eating actual food (a big step!). I would rather be at home than out on the bike when we feed him. All this translated into some stale legs for much of the race. Still, I was able to stick up front for the whole race.
The last lap, I was about 4th or 5th wheel and saw that one of my teammates was sitting second wheel on the final stretch before the finish straight. I knew he was having a good day, so I put myself in domestique mode and went to the front and nailed it down the whole straight. I think I got the field pretty lined out, and I came into the final hairpin in 1st place. My teammate was second, and did a lot less work than I did getting there. I burned a lot of matches getting to that hairpin, and I didn't have much left for the sprint. I managed 12th, while my teammate landed 3rd. I'm sure he would have done well w/out my help, but I believe he was set up nicely by the work I did. I would have definitely been in the top 10 (maybe top 5 or 7) w/out that little stunt, but it felt good to try something different. I'm still annoyed that I don't have good top-end speed, but given that I've cut short (or outright missed) just about every workout since February I can't be too upset about that. Next year I am going to have a much more specific plan.
Sunday, Race #2 - 9:30am, convenient start time and a straight 40 minute shot to Glendale were looking good. I left the house at 7:45 as planned, drove about 2 blocks thinking about the fact that it's my first Father's Day and Jack was at home w/ his little smile...without me. So I turned around and went home. I just couldn't manage to get comfortable w/ making racing a priority on this day. There's only one first Father's Day, and I'm glad I made the decisions I did today.
I could have done well today, as my legs felt great, and the course was the usual easy square. But there will be more opportunities.
3 more races to go until Cat 4 upgrade.