Lots of strong teams and strong riders made the journey down to Dothan for this fun, fast, well-organized criterium. The race is part of Dothan Cityfest with tons to do for the kids (everything from pony rides to jump zones) and some great entertainment for the adults too. Our pro/1/2 race had about 50 riders, with many of those riders on one of several strong teams. Team Type I, Mountain Khakis, Aerocat, Global Bike, and Locos all had full squads. We fielded a team with three riders – me, Pat, and Stuart. There were several small teams like ours and then some really fast independent rider (e.g., David Guttenplan). Similar to last year, the race started out with attack after attack. I put in one of the first real attacks on the second lap and then covered a few more on the next laps. Then about 10 laps into the race, there was a slight lull in the pace as everyone was pretty tired from the early attacks. I saw a move materializing just after turn 1 on the hill, and went across to it. We had a six-man break that immediately got a few seconds on the field. I was hurting though from covering earlier moves and so after one pull I just decided to try to hang on. We were caught a couple laps later. At this point, I was toast and hoped that nothing would get away because I needed some serious recovery. Unfortunately, a move did get away a few laps later — a rather large move which eventually swelled to about 15 riders. I wasn’t going to just let the entire race get away, so every time the pace slowed down I went back to the front and just drilled it on the downhill. Fortunately, somebody would always attack through the start/finish so by the time we made it back to the top of the hill and our pace started to slow again, I would come around and hammer down the hill. This kept our pace high enough that we ended up pulling back the break after about 7 laps (judging from my heartrate data). Thankfully, this was close enough to the end of the race that it seemed the larger teams had resigned themselves to a field sprint and began to setup their leadout trains with 10 laps to go. I fought hard for position at the front, always moving up whenever I could, eventually finishing 12th in the field sprint. Ty Magner (Team Type I) crushed the sprint for the win with Thomas Brown and Luke Keough taking 2nd and 3rd for Mountain Khakis.
I’ll post the full report with pictures and videos sometime tomorrow evening. Heartrate data and new for this year, my lap split times based on the Strava GPS data … check it out!
Strava lap split times with calculated power and heartrate. View the ride interactively on Strava here: http://app.strava.com/rides/385035