Old 05-31-19, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
This. B for racing; A for fitness and technique. Some of my best races have been when I just didn't have good legs so I was forced to use all my Jedi crit powers to save watts.

My best races in terms of race craft have been when I've been relatively fit and for whatever reason did the P123 or 123 race. I always race "scared" (meaning trying to shelter) but to race scared while actually being redlined is a totally different experience.

One fit year I did the now defunct Scotch Plains Crit. We were late and I missed the Cat 3 race. Used my entry to do the P123 race instead. 8 turn 1 mile course, some very good pros there (Jonas Carney was the star rider, he won Nutley and Somerville, and he was joined by pretty much every local pro in the NY/NJ area was there too as this was a warm up race for Nutley and Somerville).

I approached the race on a lap by lap basis. After doing "just one more lap" for 49 miles I was sitting in the top 10 at the bell, 4th with 3 turns to go, on Carney's wheel. Someone dive bombed the inside of that 3rd last turn, took out everyone in the vicinity behind Carney, aka 4th wheel on. I had only a vague inkling that someone was sliding through my wheels when I was 1000% railed for that hard left. I hit the deck so fast I only remembered seeing pavement next to my eye before my helmet smacked the pavement.

Although ended my race with my first ever (of two, in 35+ seasons) ambulance rides (a precautionary one because I hit my head) it was by far one of my best races ever in terms of punching above my pay grade. I was really amped for the sprint, I wasn't just hanging on for dear life, and to this day I wonder what would have happened had I made it to the line. Even a 10th or something would have been insane with the prize money back then, top 3 would have been crazy. To put it in perspective a Cat 3 race later that year paid $900 to the winner, $500 for 2nd, $250 for 3rd, and $90 for 4th (I got 4th, didn't bother learning what the other places paid). That was the Cat 3s! So a similar level crit, P123s... yeah.
"...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson
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