Though coming in last place sucks, I must admit I like the phrase. "Lan-taern Roowje" - that's a pretty close phonetic spelling of how it would sound as it rolled off the lips of a cute Parisian mademoiselle I think. Like Audrey Tautou from Amelie, for example. She's definitely on my freebie list.
The race results actually place me as 7th out of 9. But unless two guys ahead of me abandoned, the results are wrong. Either way I was the last man on the road.
The good news is I know where I messed up. Since there's usually at least 25 guys in the race, typically things are a lot easier. You can tuck yourself into the pack and just ride. But when it's only nine, the game changes. You have to work more, and there is a lot less margin for error.
And that's what I did - I slipped in just ahead of him and we all kept going. But then the pace slowed down. And when this happened, for some reason I drifted out of the pace line and headed back up to the front. This was dumb. True, we were on a prime lap, so technically I should be leading Craig up towards the front to set him up for the sprint. But in this race you don't need to set up for the sprint more than a mile from the line, so I really had no good reason to be there. Craig, not being at all tactically challenged, was no where near my rear wheel at any point during this stupid move. When we came around to the false flat and headwind again, someone accelerated. I tried to jump back in the line, but I was caught out and still a little blown up. I got dropped.
I rode the rest of the race alone. Craig went on to get 2nd on the first prime, 3rd on the second prime and 3rd overall. Congratulations, man.
Anyway, I had about 45 minutes to kill and at least 15 miles to go. Tuesdays are now cycling interval days, and Criteriums are great for intervals. But since I was out of the race, I now had to do them on my own. I ended up doing 8 more laps. About half of this was into the wind. So for the next 45 minutes I hammered into the wind and then recovered for the balance of each lap.
Getting dropped sucks. It can also be a little embarrassing - especially when the owner of the shop you ride for shows up. "Hey Derick, what's up? You've been promising to come for weeks and finally chose tonight - awesome. Nah, nah, nah...I'm actually so far off the front that I've slowed down because I felt bad." Yeah, that doesn't work.
When you ride your bike in a triathlon, there are 4 main things to remember:
- Do not mount your bike until you are past the mount line.
- Go as fast as you can without using all your energy. You still have to run.
- Do not draft.
- Dismount your bike prior to the dismount line.
But I could have beat anyone there in a 5K right about then.