Conserving Energy in a Criterium

I was reviewing the video from the Master 123 race while I am stuck in a German hotel with no English TV…not even CNN. It was clear to me that I was following a strategy early in the race….conserve energy. I started in the back contrary to my normal advice, but I know this course and it wide open. It only took one hill on the second lap for me to move to the front. Not all races are so easy to move up. Once I was in the front, I stayed on wheels, and no matter what did I take lead pulls. If the wheel in front of me was moving up or a guy was coming around me to move up, I would hitch a ride. I was trying to limit my match burning so that I would ready for the attack that mattered. When I was up front, I was avoiding the accordion in the back. It was hard enough staying up front. If you watch the second lap, I catch a ride with a Blue rider. The third lap, I sit on the Black rider. At this point in the race, there was no need for me to take up the pace making. As you see, there are always other racers who will come around at some point. They guy in Black I am sure wanted to have some come around, but I am sure that he was just spinning along. You can see that he was also following wheels when people came around him. He really cranked up the cadence to close a gap. Sitting in like this might cause you to fall a few places but that is okay as long as you are up front and conserving energy. If you are front, the you are in a position to take a wheel that is moving fast or attacking. On the fourth lap or so I caught on to the guy in the White and Green. On the fifth lap the White and Green guy attacked up the hill hard and I could not grab his wheel. Luckily, the guy in Red and Black took his wheel and I was able to take his wheel. Besides being stuck in Germany waiting for my flight (dam volcano), I have a crappy wireless connection, so I am done trying to follow and analyze the race because my connection keeps getting broken!

Ride Hard,

Steve