Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Importance of a Good Start - St. Cloud

So I'm warming up before the St. Cloud crit, keeping an eye out for race officials or people queuing up for the start so I can get a good starting spot. It's getting past the official start time so I'm being very careful. Just past the start/finish line I see an offical tentatively step toward the line, and I'm wondering if he's getting ready to call us up. Of course by the time I come around again, people are already lined up 3 deep, and they've thrown the Masters 50+ in with the Masters 4/5, so the field is huge, and the course is highly technical. Plus, I struggled a bit to get clipped in, so I'm already way behind before I get going. There's a corner every block, so there's very little chance to move up, and moving up took huge amounts of energy as I have to sprint in between the corners (the corners are way to tight with such a big field to move up). Pretty soon I'm off the back, exhausted. I was able to work with some other stragglers to limit losses, but eventually I got pulled. Which is frustrating because I felt good - if I'd had a decent start I could probably have stayed with the field, maybe even for the whole race. Alas. Lynne got some good pictures though - don't I look pro with my matching helmet now?