Not sure if I was right about over-training or in-race hydration, but last night was better than the past two Bryan Park crits.
My rule for the night was to not chase foolish breaks, and after a few months on the local scene, I'm starting to learn who's fast, hopeful, or just dangerous. My other rule for the night was not to blow up early in the heat, which was almost as bad as Oyster Point on Saturday. So the two rules were complementary, but rules, being what they are, are meant to be broken. Or at least ignored.
I started at the back, as usual, which is a habit I'm going to have to break, because it meant putting out more effort in the opening 2 laps than I should have. The pack was strung out to almost the full length of the back straight, but no crazy blocks were being thrown, so it wasn't too hard to cycle through to the front, but once there, I was smart enough to tuck into line and stay there.
As with last week, RVS tried to break on the women's Prime. Ted got away with a 3Sports rider and a couple others. While the others fell off quickly, Ted & Nathaniel stayed clear for 2 laps. I was 3rd wheel on the pack and there were constant shouts of "do not chase" when Noel bridged. Nathaniel fell off, but Ted and Noel are strong and were maintaining a 5 or 6 second gap. When another rider broke from behind me on the back straight, I jumped on his wheel and we bridged.
Dude Who Jumped then declared quite loudly to Ted & Noel that "we have 4", which caused them to look back and split the line in two. Ted demanded someone else go out front, but it was too disorganized. I pulled through in the kink and Ted said "ease up so they can catch back on", which I obliged, only to then hear thrashing through the grass. Ted had looked back after issuing the order, but had failed to ease up himself, and ran over my back wheel. He kept himself upright, but the break was foiled while the others gave him space.
I stayed in the mix as best I could, crossing one other small bridge effort later in the race, and instantly knowing it was a mistake, but came to the bell in 4th. I'd chased a rider on a fast tear up the back straight, and he'd set up an outside line. Only he apparently was doing my trick from last week, and blew up almost as soon as he crossed the line. But he left me no room to move around, and I was quickly swamped by new lines forming all around me through the kink.
I picked up the pace approaching the hairpin and overcooked the turn, running out to the right and into the dirt. I stayed on the bike and powered through, picking up a few positions on the race to the final turn, and did the best seated sprint I could manage to the line.
I ended up somewhere around 11th position. I really feel like I could have done better if I'd not wasted those bridge efforts. So now I'm thinking of P-Touching "DO NOT BRIDGE" on my handlebars.