Promoter: Norcal Christian Cycling
Race Web Site:
Course Description: This is a rectangular business park course. The course is pretty open and can be exposed to the wind which tends to blow from the north west. On the back stretch and the third straight there are left turn pockets. These are noteworthy because of the prevailing wind. More in a second.
Road Surface: The road is in good shape.
Gearing: Flat criterium gears.
Facilities: Porta cans. There are stores and coffee shops near by. The promoting club usually has some food on hand also.
Weather: The weather is generally very nice for this race.
Equipment advice: Aero crit wheels.
Race Advice: This race is different than what you’re generally used to. You need to ask what your goal is. Do you want to win or make a “lot” of money? That’s what makes it kind of fun. With $5 on offer every lap somebody is always willing to give it a go.
If you’re a good sprinter you’ll probably want to mostly sit in and wait for a few opportunities to take a few sprints with minimal effort and then go for the final sprint also. If you’re not a sprinter, you’ll want to look for opportunities to get away for a bit. You need to pick your time though and hope for a bit of a lull so you can establish a gap and maybe stay away for a few laps. One possible outcome of that tactic though is getting caught four or five times with 50 meters to go. Trust me on this. I know from experience. In fact, my nick name for this race is the “Dash for No Cash”. 🙂
Back to those turn pockets. What happens is that the wind in general makes the best shelter on the left side of the pack on the back stretch and the second to last stretch. About half way down each of those roads is a left turn pocket. It is very common for the pack to swing left into those pockets to get a bit of shelter from the wind, and then… “OH MY GOD! The median! Move right!” I don’t know that people crash there in any numbers, but you will have to brake and lose position time and time again if you put yourself into the wrong place.
For the sprint, it’s a pretty long way from the final corner. I doubt that there are many people who could lead out of that corner and hold on for the win. I know for sure I’m not one of them. Top five or so with a good kick might be the hot ticket.