Brooks Mershon Race Report: W&M

Written by Brooks on . Posted in Race Reports

Brooks Mershon

William and Mary

Men’s D Saturday 2/23/13

            Racers saw mid-40 degrees and raining on Saturday morning. We had a field size of 24, with Steven Boyd taking 3rd place and myself taking 14th. The first lap was largely uneventful through the KOA hill, but saw a breakaway within the last mile before the beginning of the second lap. I began to slip off the back of the breakaway and attempted to close a 10 second gap by slowly accelerating towards the breakaway as I began the second lap.

            At this point, I made the critical mistake of allowing a fellow racer who was drafting behind me to sling shot around me and close the gap. In order to stay in the race I needed to stay on this racer’s wheel and power through until I was in the peloton again. This would have really hurt my already gassed legs, but with an upcoming downhill turn I would have been able to recover a bit within a fast moving group.

            The entire second lap was spent managing my time spent pulling with two other racers so that I could have a strong finish. Rotating through in our drafting allowed me to save enough of my legs to sprint ahead of the two racers I was with in the last 50 meters before the finish line.

Lessons Learned:

  1. oGo hard to close the gap, because then you can rest
  2. oDon’t pull too hard for too long, especially near the end of the race.

Men’s D Crit (20 min) Sunday 2/24/12


            Steven Boyd won; I took 10th place out of 16. I began the race by beating everyone to the first corner and holding this safe position for a few turns before hopping on second wheel for the next 6 or 7 laps. By about the 10 to 15 minute mark I had slid back several places and spent too long racing against the wind fully exposed. All handled turns conservatively and the field quickly became strung out. I had a sprint to the finish in the last 25 meter straight, but started accelerating too late (after the turn) and did not catch up to the 3 racers I was behind. I moved from 20 feet behind to overlapping front wheels in the last 25 meters with the 2nd bike of the three racers.

Lessons Learned:

  1. oGet to the front, but be careful about pulling while exposed to the wind. Use a bit of finesse and strategy to conserve energy.
  2. oMind final positioning well before last one or two turns to ensure a clean line to sprint in small crit courses.