First Crit of the Year

    Last weekend I did my first two races of the year at the Great Dane Velo Club (http://www.gdvc.net/) Criterium #1 on April 11.  Next Sunday is another crit on the same course, but I am stuck in Europe because of the volcanic ash!  It was nice to get the legs moving fast.  First, I raced the Masters Cat 123 for 60 minutes and then I raced the Cat Pro12 one hour later for another 60 minutes.  In the masters 123, I was able to get into break that started with 5 guys and grew to 10 as a second group bridged up.  I was able to take 4th place in the break.  In the pro123 race, I was able to hang in the race and sprint for the finish.  I got caught behind a guy who had his rear wheel self-destruct right in front of me out of the last corner.  These races were held on a course that I have done maybe hundred times.   These were held on the Madison, WI Tuesday night practice crit course, so I know the corners and how to race the course very well. 
    The numbers below are the summary numbers from the two races.  My plan was to race the Masters race hard, and stay up front so that I could get into a break.  My plan for the Pro12 was just to ride hang in and not be too aggressive since I raced already.  The power numbers do indicate that I worked harder in the Masters race but the average speed was faster in the Pro12 race.

      Masters 123 Pro12
    KJ 911 888
    Nominal Power  316 298
    Average Power 268 258
    Max Power 1487 1347
    Avg  Speed 25.4 26.8

     I wish that I could show the graph below bigger but this all that could get out of WKO+ when I did a race comparison.  Yellow is the Masters 123 and Red is Pro 12.  The top graph is a power comparison while the bottom graph is speed. It really does not tell me much to be honest other than the Masters 123 and Pro 12 races are about the same level of intensity.

    The graph below is Masters 123 power output but based upon distance.  There was a hill which is the spike on most laps.  When I was back in the pack or someone was hitting it hard up the hill, I was out of the saddle pushing the power up.  The breakaway started about third to halfway into the race.  The break worked good together when there was 5 guys, but it started falling apart when it got up to 10 guys.  Luckily, we had enough of a gap so it did not matter.  It was interesting to see that the hill was taken less hard or at least the sprinting out of the corner towards the hill went down when I was in the break. 

    In the Pro 12 race below, the hill was a major factor on my power zapping.  The average speed was higher in this race, but most likely due to the fact that no breaks got away.  Even though I was sitting in, it is interesting to note that the Masters race had 8 peaks above 800 and one above 900 while the Pro 12 race had 11 above 800 plus 6 of these were above 900.  However, the average and nominal power was lower in the Pro12.  The Pro12 race had a lot of consistent attacking that was chased down. 

    I was also interested in how the two races looked on my power “dashboard”.  The last dots on the right are from the races.  It was interesting to note that my races were less powerful than much of my training.  The max power was closest to my training levels, but the rest were below.  The races were above my beginning workout max power levels but not near what I had recently been doing. 

    In looking at where I was at on my performance management chart, you can see that I was peaked on ATL and bottomed out on TSB after the race.  I was feeling tired before the race.   Above you can see a big drop on training day four days before the race, where I decided that I could not complete the workout (plus it was raining).  I have been traveling since the race so I have not been able to get any training in.  With the large number of days off, my ATL and TSB lines have already crossed so I will be ready for some seriously hard training when I get back!

    I am happy how my training has been progressing and that I was able to perform well in the races while I have been training hard.  I have some hard training weeks planned with a few races for the next two months.  My first A race is the WI state crit on June 12.

     Ride Hard

    Steve