Cat 1/2/3, 45+
With fitness from racing with the Red Peloton team on Zwift, but only 1 day of riding in the real world since November 2020, I decided to give a local criterium a go. This field is full of current and former national and world champions, former pros, and top notch amateurs so it’s always a good measure. I decided to attack from the start to see what I could do (first two photos attached). Started a nice 9 man break including riders from Touchstone and Peet’s but missing a rider from Thirsty Bear (they tend to clump at the back of the field for the start). Unfortunately Thirsty Bear chased us down within a couple of laps. For the next ½ of the race I kept going into breaks (my goals for the race were to get in some kilo efforts and to get some good photos: done and done), but was recovering when the break of the day went. Thirsty Bear missed it again but one of their riders bridged, and that was it. I made sure the announcers called Red Peloton on about 1/3 of the laps by being on or off the front. Finished 29th out of ~60 riders.
Cat 3/4, 35+
After a year of not riding much outdoors and doing virtual rides and races on Zwift, my primary goal was to sharpen my bike handling skills and feeling comfortable riding in the pack. I wasn’t sure how my fitness would measure against all the other riders but I was pleasantly surprised I was able to hang on to the group and practice skills like moving to the front and back of the group, selecting the best lines on the corners and keeping up with the speed and accelerations of the group. I felt very motivated doing my first outdoor race in over a year. Overall it went well, I finished midpack (26th place).