Pre-Race Conspiring: Delaware Race Weekend

It looks like six hours of driving will lead to quite a race weekend in Newark, DE.

Oh hell. My first Men's A race is this monstrosity. We get to do this loop four times, just barely escaping the definition of a "circuit race" and making this a "road race". A 68-mile race is going to make this a war of attrition. The rider who has the best sprint after being in the saddle for about 2h30m is going to win. I'm going to try to ride smart: save energy, stay fueled, hide from the wind. My goal is to chase down exactly one attack: the one which forms the race-winning breakaway.

This here is the Delaware "lollipop" time trial course in all its glory. Time trialing is my strength, so I'll be looking for a strong performance here. Aero equipment is legal in the A's. All of that climbing makes me really wonder what the ideal combination of equipment is for this course. My tri-spoke is lighter than my disc, so the tri-spoke may very well make an appearance this weekend! Sometimes, having more equipment options is a curse. Aero or weight? That is the question. I need to pull out the scale.

When the Delaware folks said that this crit was on a new part of campus, they meant it. Of the major mapping solutions, only Google Maps knew about these roads - and even then, only the big ones. Using my usual trickery, I was able to re-create the roads very nicely in Topo. This looks like a very fast course, with an acute bend left at the bottom of a hill and an uphill finish. Hopefully this will be a course where individual strength and technique is enough to escape the pack.

With that said, who are the riders to watch? Anyone whose time beat mine in the Rutgers ITT is definitely someone to watch. That would be Josh Lipka (UNH blue, 153), Nick Frey (Princeton orange, 169), and Dan Cassidy (UVM yellow, 100). Points leader Eric Schlidge (Dartmouth green, 173) and strong finisher Thomas Coupe (UNH, 186), as well as Alex Bremer (Columbia blue, 161) are on the list as well. Of course, at this level it's anyone's race, but I'll be watching UVM and UNH closely for obvious team tactics.