Nothing much to report here. It might have been the easiest stage that I’ve ever done in all the NVGP’s I’ve ridden. Only 66 miles and little wind. In the 70’s. Nothing to complain about there. The field pretty much stayed together for the whole 57 mile big loop. The finish loop is 5 laps of a pretty technical circuit. That is where it got harder. I haven’t seen the results, but maybe 1/2 the field came in together. Healthnet rotated for the last 3 laps and cranked it up abit the last lap. Enough to put most of us out of contention. I realized pretty early that I wasn’t going to be able to move up to sprint, so I just kept floating further back the last mile, just trying to stay connected to receive winner’s time. Kirk Obee won. Not sure who else was up there.
Tomorrow is a 6 mile TT in the morning. Finishes up a pretty good hill. Then the Minneapolis Criterium I won a couple years ago in the evening. Not too hard a day either. I didn’t bring any aero equipment along, so I’ll just cruise the TT on my road bike. There is so much time to lose on Saturday and Sunday that the TT doesn’t really come into play that much for me. Or most of the rest of the field.
The leadouts at the end of the races now, especially criteriums or circuit races, are pretty interesting . Healthnet or whoever is up there only rides on the inside of the course. By that, I mean that if it was a 4 left hand corner criterium, they ride in the left gutter on all sides and swing out at the last minute to the right to negotiate the corner. If the riders behind try to get past the 8 riders in front, they are chopped when the leadout swings out wide to turn. So effectively, the team in control can rotate slower for a longer time and the riders behind end up doing intervals behind. In is pretty dangerous and I’m not sure what I think of it, but it is pretty effective.