Looking for some input on how I could have deployed my power band a little better at the end of a recent Cat 3 race in SoCal.Course Description
2 30 mile laps with a 16 minute Cat 3 climb and several rollers (2-5min climbs). Finish is an approximately 300m 6-8% grade hill then 200m flat. Start is there as well. It's 5 miles of flat before the first climb and since it's a Y course, same coming back.Race Description
The main climb was pretty easy. I weighed in at 69kg that morning and averaged 283w up for 16 min, about 50w less than what would be a spicy pace. The rollers were harder, especially since I wasn't careful on the first lap with position and had lots of yo-yo-ing going on. Second lap I focused on staying top 5 wheels as if I was racing a crit and all was good for most of the race. I kept my power output low, didn't have to burn any matches so my legs were solid going into the finish.
On the last 5 mile flat section, we were at a stroll pace. No one wanted to work. I sat on the front a little here and there at Z2. With 2K to go, I wanted to make sure I had good position since we had a large group, I didn't want to get trapped. I was still at Z2 and I hugged the centerline so no one could come on my left. We didn't start ramping up until 600m or so to go. I initially stayed on the left side waiting for someone to make a big jump for about 100m or so then after the pace settled in, I jumped second wheel and pushed a pretty hard effort. As we crested the hill, I was second wheel but still 200m to go. A group of 6 or so jumped hard at that point and I slotted in but my legs were fried. The best I could do was just defend my position for 8th.What Should I Have Done Differently?
The sprint climb is fairly steep, even with a good chunk of it flat, it averages 5%, but we averaged 23mph through it, so there definitely was drafting advantage. Did my tactical decision to not get boxed in cause me to burn extra matches? Was it still a sound decision considering we had 30 or so to duke it out on a single lane? Power profile wise, I set an all time PR on my 1 min power @ 611w, but most of that was stacked heavily in the first 40s. You can see the power curve suffered pretty hard for the last 20s. Should my focus be on improving my comfort in navigating a pack sprint finish so that I can deploy my power a little more wisely?