Venue; Sandown Raceway
My 4th & last Criterium was windy, with 80+km head winds on several sections of the track. We were doing speeds of under 30 km/h up the main straight it was that strong. Frustratingly the field never cracked, as we never hit speeds high enough to drop anyone. On the second last lap I got thrown at the front, and smashed out an incredible time in the conditions. I was sitting on 39 km/h up the main straight, and I knew I was hurting everyone. At the corner I waved my elbow to push the group through. We had to smash up the group. Not one of the fuckers behind me had the strength to do shit.
The next rider came through and the speed dropped down to 25 km/h. All the work I did was for nothing as everyone caught up. We were all together on the last lap. I didn’t think I was the strongest to win, but knew I could easily do top 3. After the climb on the back straight I got trapped on the left side by slow riders. A group of 5 broke free. I tried to push to catch them, but had burnt my matches before. That problem I had with hitting the corners was further compounded in gale winds. I ended up finishing 8th and not happy.
My last Criterium
I didn’t return to racing. It never fitted my weekly schedule, and I was always going to be tired on the day. As I do such long rides on the Wednesday’s. I figured that if I rode to work would be doing 60 – 100 km’s. The Crits were only about 30 km’s. I guess I was shitted with that last race where I could work so hard and come out of it so badly. The first 3 positions are the only things that matter. Anything less is a waste of time.
My last Criterium. I didn’t have the experience. And knew that strategically the higher grades would be more entertaining to ride. I’m not sure if I really cared for that. 2 years on, I am a lot stronger into the corners, and better at keeping a fast tempo on the straights. I could do really well, but the last two years I’ve based my training around doing epic rides. Don’t think I’d give it up for the Crits again. I guess I had my win, and was very happy with the way I did that.