Kristine snapped this photo of me in the middle of a huge field right before the start of the 2010 Roswell Criterium Pro/1 race. I was only three or four rows back from the start line, so I had a pretty good start. One of the unique things about this course is that there is a built-in radar detector on the course. The first lap reading was 35mph — very fast with a tail/cross-wind through the start-finish. The pace stayed very high topping out at almost 38mph by the end of the fourth lap. Keep in mind that is the speed of roughly the front third of the pack during the race — not for the finishing sprint. The poor guys at the end of the pack would have been going maybe an additional 1mph. Our average speed ended up being 28mph when factoring in the hill and bunching up that happened in Turn 3 on just about every lap. I fought hard to stay towards the front, which usually meant looking for opportunities to pass people using momentum on the backside hill, or whenever the pack would bunch up going into a corner. Still, I was never really happy with my position and never once made it close enough to the front to attack in pursuit of a prime or to try to make it into a break. Kristine said that she was impressed with my position in the pack as I was always in the front third. That should give you an idea of how large the field was — considering as how I thought I was in the middle or back 1/3rd of the field! In the final few laps, I ended up maintaining about my same position and ultimately finished 45th. Not a great race, but good training, good experience, and fun racing with the pros.
Finally, here’s my heartrate data — a little bit lower than expected considering as how I should have been pretty fresh for the race. This is probably represented by the fact that this race was more about jostling for position at high speeds than a flat out drag race all the way around the course. Only the start/finish stretch was super fast.