Friday, August 3, 2012

The Liberty Criterium

First and foremost thank you to all that came out and raced and watched the Liberty Crit. Philadelphia Ciclismo really enjoys promoting this race, and it would be really lame without everyone that raced, so thank you. Thanks to everyone who helped us guard one of the 1300 driveways on the course as well. Much appreciated.
There are some great photos: Here

There's not a lot to say about my race aside from I did my standard try to get in moves and then get 50th thing. I had fun though. Its still nice to race the 1/2/3 without having done the 3 race prior.
Lauren's race was marred by a bad crash involving three riders on lap 4 or 5. Lauren made it through safely, but sadly the 3 women that went down were unable to continue and suffered some pretty serious injuries. Please heal up and get well soon ladies.
Which brings me to the big question. Why all the crashes? The women's race saw some of its arguably most experienced riders go down as a result of an alleged dropped chain. The Cat 3 Men's race had a decent accident on the last lap at the beginning of the final turn (arch) due to the typical crowding before the sprint. 
The Cat 5 race had one rider clip the curb and tumble into some grass. 
The Cat 4 race which saw the worst crashes made it through clean to my knowledge, as well as the Masters and P/1/2/3.
I offer some general rules (not all apply to the aforementioned crashes) I have been taught.
1) If you are in 35th place going into the last corner of a crit, you are not going to win. You probably shouldn't sprint, as most of the people around you aren't going to sprint. If you do, for some reason sprint. Look up, not at your stem, this way you can see the person sitting up in front of you and not hit them.
I don't know how many times I have seen guys in the back crash themselves out in the last minute of a race. Its over, all the money and points are up the road. Live to fight another day.
2) Overlapping wheels. Basic stuff. Don't do it. You're gunna have a bad time.

3) The risk versus reward misjudge: Use Case: I can gain 2 spots if I shoot this 1/2 width gap... on lap 9... of 30...
+ I get 2 spots. 
- If either rider moves at all I might crash out
- Everyone thinks I am a jackass
Taking risk is certainly part of bike racing. If its lap 29/30, maybe the weighting changes a bit. Measure that risk against the reward.
4) Writing checks your handling skills cant cash. 
Everyone has seen this video from earlier in the year. It goes back to risk versus reward. This guy basically had this thing won, but went a wee bit hot into that last corner ans won a date with the barriers. Crashing is only funny in cyclocross, the only bad part is sand in your skinsuit.

There you have it. not really groundbreaking stuff. 

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