Surviving A Master's Crit Outside Atlanta

Gwinnett Tech / USA Cycling Southeast Master’s Regional Criterium.

As we posted in the previous road race, it takes a lot of watts to make and stay in the lead group in these master’s races.

While we’re all losing our snap and might not be able to #CRITSQUAD with the 20 year olds as often, especially when outmanned, the diesel wattages are there.

This course featured a backside stair step climb that surprisingly elicited a lot of 95% VO2Max efforts (much more than a normal 4 corner crit) and 20% of the race was anaerobic.

The GC Story

For those new to cycling, GC stands for General Classification. Think of it as Overall Standings.

I’m sitting in first place and have screwed this up before. With motivations divided between winning the crit itself and GC, I’ve sometimes come away with neither; even when focusing purely on GC.

If you roll the dice and expend energy for the win, you may place poorly if it comes down to a sprint. If you play it too conservatively though, you may miss a move going up the road.

The target is on your back, and people are ready to rip you to pieces…it’s like when sharks see blood out there.

My goal was to keep an eye on Moreira, Eustace, and Beaver. The three immediately behind me in the overall standings for the weekend. With sprint primes on the line and what I was sure to be a tough finish, my goals were:

  • watch any breaks that included those 3 guys. If one gets away, surely the others will want me to do the work to bring it back, since almost any of them could jump me in the GC standings with a solid finish and a mediocre one from me

  • conserving for the final few laps…if I accomplish that first bullet point, it means I still need to have bullets at the end. Be wise

  • ignore the crit result, let non-GC guys go up the road


Race Metrics

1h 3m 28s

26.4 miles

24.47 mph average

299W average

404 W NORMALIZED POWER. I told you we were gonna smash that hill.

1,138kj, or just over 1 megajoule.

106 TSS

1,271 feet climbed. Not bad for a crit!

SPOILER BELOW

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I don’t use this Matches chart often, but you can really see that I saved just enough matches for the end! Third in the bunch sprint (2 guys were up the road) placed me in 5th, with one prime and ended up winning the GC by 12 points! Also believe I had the highest point total in any age group.

matches burned cycling

King for a day! And then we go back to training!

Truly an honor to win this weekend amongst my peers; some phenomenal athletes in this group and so happy to come away with the GC win. Thanks for watching and reading, and hopefully have some more videos and race recaps for you soon.

All the best with your training and riding; if you’re stuck on anything, reach out to me at BRENDAN@EVOQ.BIKE.

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Brendan HouslerComment