I did the 2nd criterium on Tuesday. This time I am more relaxed and focussed on keeping myself in the front 3rd of the pack. The race has more people this time (probably 25 to 30) and it was a bit crowded when we start. As expected the crowd thins out as some 1st timers cannot keep up with the pace and the climbs. The pace was a little quicker than the previous races I've seen as there are more people and more people trying to lead the pack.
There was some confusion in the middle of the race. The women's races were running at the same time and their cat1-3 pack caught us. People were yelling to move away so that the women can pass. There was a bit of confusion and there were people trying to sit in the women's pack as well as trying to break away using the women's pack as a decoy. A couple of us decide to chase the breakaway down creating more
confusion in the race. After a lap or two the race official called a "neutral lap" to let the women's group ride away. That suits me fine because I was pretty close to blowing up trying to chase the breakaway. Somewhere in the middle of the confusion was the prime lap and I don't even know exactly which lap it was.
At the last lap I was in the front group of 10 or so riders. I saw there were 2-3 riders from the same team so I rode next to one of them and said I was going to try to lead him off. Then I dive down the hill going all out thinking he would follow me. But I think I was going too fast and he knows that I wouldn't succeed. I
went all out for about 30 seconds or so and saw the pack or right behind me, probably less than 20 feet away. There was a right hand turn and I wasn't prepared to make the turn at that speed. So I braked, let the people pass, as finished the race last. When I went home my kids asked me how I did. I said I had fun and my wife said "you didn't do well, did you?" I smiled and walked away.