I 'guest rode' Bikelink's helmet cam for the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium (Men's Pro/1/2) held in West Chester, PA on July 9, 2011. I decided to mount it to my stem instead of helmet to not only remain slightly more inconspicuous, but also to reduce drag and the possibility of damage in case I crashed (haven't crashed in a road race since '08 but you never know!). Worked great for the video, but the audio isn't quite as clear as the other videos uploaded - perhaps I taped over the mic and the road vibrations ended up getting picked up.
As for the race, it was hard as expected - probably about as hard as last year. I had a horrible starting position yet again which did not make things easier. I spent at least 5 laps in the wind shutting down gaps/field splits. Whether this was necessary or not I'll never know. I don't think you can trust anyone in a race of this speed with being able to continue reducing the gap to the rider or group ahead of you, especially with riders towards the back who are usually not as strong or experienced as the riders animating the race up front. I used the downhill back stretch as the spot to advance my position as many people were coasting and recovering here - I would just shoot up the inside or wait a bit longer to hit my brakes and grab a position or two. However, I also needed to recover on the backstretch as well, especially after some big efforts to get back to the lead group. I would occasionally lose spots to people sprinting up the short hill between turns 3 and 4 or out of turn 4, but I tried to stay seated and keep my speed smooth as I knew if I was sprinting out of the saddle every lap my legs would be dead come the end as that's what had happened to me at Wilmington. With three to go a crash in turn three split the remainder of field. I managed to get around on the sidewalk and chased for two laps but couldn't quite shut down the gap which was around four to five seconds. I mistakenly thought money went 20 deep (and that was reinforced when we were passing people who had been in the lead group who sat up on the finish stretch) so I eased off and didn't sprint. Turns out money went 30 deep and one rider from behind the crash snagged it. Whoops! I grabbed 38th out of 100+ starters which, while an improvement over last year, wasn't quite where I wanted to be. Next year I'm finding out where everyone lines up and making sure I start towards the front. Without wasting a ton of energy chasing and closing gaps, I think I can put that energy to good use for a top 20. Until next year!