Tuesday, July 21, 2009

B flight

After the win a couple weeks ago, Steve and I decided to give ourselves an upgrade and race B flight at RMR. According to the placing guidelines for the Utah Crit Series, these are the requirements:

B Flite
1) A valid/current USCF license with Cat 3 or Cat 4 Status.
2) Your Crit Series Plate (if you want your points tracked and to participate in Cash awards)
3)You must sign your USAC release form
4)Helmet(worn at all times) Bike(USCF Legal)All USCF rules apply.


C Flite
1) A valid/current USCF license or you can purchase a 1 day license for $5
2) Your Crit Series Plate (if you want your points tracked and to participate in awards)
3)You must sign your USAC release form
4)Helmet(worn at all times) Bike(USCF Legal)All USCF rules apply.

We’re new Cat. 4’s, could technically continue racing in C, but B goes for 45 minutes, so may as well get the longer workout.

I don’t have a plate and probably won’t buy one this late in the season. At the start of the season, I came out thinking I was just here to get the starts I needed for the Cat. 4 upgrade. Then I got hooked.

Steve was feeling flush after winning his office pool for the Final Four and bought a plate way back in April. Funny thing is they didn’t bat an eye at me saying I was going to race B, but they gave Steve some grief and made sure he was actually a Cat. 4 AND made him trade in his plate before they’d let him upgrade. No going back for him now that he has a 300’s number.

It really wasn’t that different than C flight. In C, the riders on the front push the pace to try and shake loose the pretenders as they accelerate around the corners. There are rarely if ever any breaks. In B’s, nobody is going to shake loose, so guys go off the front to try and make a break, and the leaders chase them down. Either way, you can sit in the middle and avoid doing much work if you want to save your legs for the sprint.

I was more or less feeling things out tonight and didn’t have any intentions of contesting the sprint in a meaningful way. The fact that we got tangled up with the A flight on the back stretch of the bell lap didn’t help my positioning much. As we rounded the final corner, I was surprised at how much ground I was making in the sprint, and probably could have had a top 10 had I chosen a better line.

My choices were to a) squeeze between the rider to my left and the barrier and risk crashing, or b) hit the brakes, go behind the rider, and restart my acceleration. I chose “b.” Crashing just isn’t worth it if you aren’t getting paid. Steve chose a better line and ended up with a top 10 finish. I’m hoping to do the same next week.

The shocker of the night was that “Crits are Stupid” Bob showed up to race the C’s. As a recovery ride no less. I guess he struggles with self control and has a hard time reining it in whenever there are hills involved, so going somewhere flat is his best option. Bob, you should race 4’s with us at Sanpete. It’ll be fun.

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